"Protect Prop. 98, Protect Students" and "Let's Make California
Schools Great Again" buttons. Several also wore pictures of their
children on a paper frame that said, "My special interest."
The caravan, which will have 41 delegates from Glendale, will meet
on the steps of the state Capitol today, with the intent of making
the governor know that breaking promises to the state's children
would be unacceptable.
"Years ago, as a parent, I worked to ensure the passage of
Proposition 98," school board President Mary Boger said. "I thought
we put that conversation to rest. The people of the state knew
exactly what they were voting for and why. The governor would have
you believe otherwise.
"The conversation is about adequate funding for education. It's
about the state that is the fifth-largest economic power in the
world, but 44th in funding students, right here at home."
The California PTA, along with the state's teachers and school
boards, are incensed that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is reneging on a
deal he brokered last year to borrow $2 billion from education and
promised to return. But the state budget he proposed in January did
not include returning the borrowed $2 billion, which is owed to
education under Proposition 98's minimum-funding guarantee.
The years of budget cuts have put pressure on parents to either
fundraise feverishly or do the work that needs to be done at schools
themselves, like driving students to and from games and field trips.
"At Fremont Elementary School, parents provided the money for the
librarian and the computer lab technician," Fremont PTA President
Leslie Wallace said. "That costs about $35,000 a year. We're
fortunate to be able to do that, but other schools don't have that
Hoover High School's music program, once considered integral, is
now a luxury, Glendale Council PTA President Patty Scripter said.
"We're here to say this must stop," Scripter said. "Children
cannot vote, but we can -- and they will know that our children
deserve the best educational opportunity we can give them."
* DARLEENE BARRIENTOS covers education. She may be reached at