Education first


    The Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs requests that an item be placed on Malibu City Council agenda of Jan. 24 to allow PTA Council President Rick Gates to address the City Council regarding funding for public schools in California and its impact on the budget crisis in the Santa Monica-Malibu United School District. As part of this item, PTA Council also requests that the City Council ask staff to work with school district staff to schedule a study session on school funding for City Council members, to be facilitated by the superintendent and his staff.

    PTA feels that it is critical for council members to be informed about the crisis facing the schools in our community.

    Our schools are an integral part of our community. It is essential that you have a clear picture of the situation facing your young citizens. What impacts our children will impact us all for generations to come. There can be no more important work for the leaders of this city than to promote the health and vitality of our schools.

    Why does this concern you? Isn’t this the state’s job? Yes. Are they doing their job? No. PTA is pushing for legislation requiring the state to fund education at the national average. No frills. Just average. We are exploring an initiative campaign should this legislative effort fail. We need your support.

    But until we succeed in making education the top priority of all those politicians who say education is their top priority, we need your commitment. Until we can rely on Sacramento, we must rely on ourselves.

    It is shameful that the world’s seventh largest economy is 46th among 50 states in support of schools. We will not tolerate this. How can we expect our children to compete, let alone reach their full potential with this lack of support? How can other states spend $8,000-10,000 yearly to educate a child and we can’t spend half that much? How do we tell our children that that’s all they deserve?

    We won’t tell them that. We must forge a partnership that will guarantee that our children receive an education that is second to none. We can do that, and we will.

    Rick Gates, president

    Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs