Wednesday, June 23, 2010

[SDCPJ] There's still time to stop the attack on public schools



The latest attack on public education is gaining momentum in the Legislature, but there's still time to make your voice heard and take a stand for schools. Check out the campaign below to learn more about what's at stake for California kids. 



Dear Fred,
As if our schools didn't have it tough enough these days, a state Assembly member has launched yet another attack against public education.
Click here to take action to stop a dangerous bill that puts up new red tape and would cost our public schools $50 million dollars in vital funding.
As the legislative session heats up, Assemblymember Brownley has wasted no time launching an assault on innovative public schools.  Brownley's bill, AB 1950, pulls educators away from kids to spend more time filling out bureaucratic paper work.  It's no secret that kids benefit when they spend more time with our great teachers, not less. Yet AB 1950 asks teachers to jump through new hoops to ensure their school will be able to keep its doors open.
Send a letter to make it clear that teachers should spend their time helping kids, not paper pushing.
Think that's bad enough? AB 1950 goes further and creates a new system of quotas that will hurt low-income and minority kids across California.  Should low-income kids be denied seats in innovative public charter schools to make room for their wealthier peers? Apparently Assemblymember Brownley thinks so.
And to make matters worse, this ill-advised proposal breaks rules in a federal grant program that will cost California public schools vital funding. At the same time, it would immediately stifle the growth of high quality schools in low-income communities and arbitrarily modify public charter school waiting lists, potentially separating siblings trying to access a quality public education.
Click here to send a letter to help stop the bill. See a sample letter on the webpage and below, but please customize it with a personal message if you like.
In this difficult time for our schools, we need to help teachers, not tie a hand behind their back with more paper work and limit the opportunities for minority and low-income students to enroll in a quality public school.
Thank you for taking the time to make a difference for our kids.
Sincerely,
Bill Lucia, President
EdVoice

 
Sample Letter Text:
Dear [Legislator's Name Here],
Please vote no on AB 1950, legislation that ties up educators with new red tape, takes money out of the classroom and would cost California public schools $50 million dollars in vital funding.
At a time when our public schools are strapped for staff and resources, we ought to be asking them to fill out less paper work, not more.  AB 1950 pulls teachers out of the classroom and away from kids to jump through new bureaucratic hoops.  And while creating these new rules and regulations, the bill actually eliminates a critical oversight and appeal process for innovative public charter schools.
But AB 1950 doesn't stop there.  The bill creates a system that puts arbitrary quotas above giving all kids a fair shot at a quality education. Under current law, public charter schools take all kids who sign up. If there are not enough spots in a school, kids enter a random, non-biased drawing for admission.  And under this system, California's most successful public charter schools serve primarily low-income and minority students.  AB 1950 introduces quotas that shut this door to opportunity for thousands of African American and Latino kids across California.  Thousands of low-income students will be pulled out of innovative public schools to make room for their more affluent peers.

And to make matters worse, this breaks the rules in a federal grant program, and as a result, would cost California public schools critical funding. Beyond that, the bill would immediately stifle the growth of high quality schools in low-income communities and arbitrarily modify waiting lists, potentially separating siblings trying to access a quality public education.
I urge you to vote no on AB 1950. Our teachers need to spend every minute possible with kids and our schools can't afford to lose another dollar of critical funding.
Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]
Click here to send your letter.
Click here to learn more about the bill.


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