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PUSD leaders push for 'full and fair funding' for education

District, union reps seek public support in lobbying state officials

Leaders in the Pleasanton Unified School District have issued a joint letter asking for community members to join them in advocating for full and fair funding for public education and Pleasanton students.

The letter, released last Friday, states that while the PUSD has a longstanding reputation for providing a quality and nationally recognized public education, it has not been receiving an adequate amount of funding from the state -- which provides the majority of the district's funding -- to meet its students needs.

School officials further stated that while California is now the fifth largest economy in the world, its schools are funded in the bottom 10% when compared to other U.S. school systems.

"Our 15,000 students in Pleasanton -- along with the other 6.2 million enrolled throughout the state -- deserve better," PUSD education leaders said in their letter. "It will take all of us, focused on improving the state's funding model, to ensure we are able to meet the needs of the next generation of learners. We must fight for what's right for our children."

In a showing of a united front, the letter was jointly signed by PUSD Superintendent David Haglund, Board of Trustees President Valerie Arkin, Association of Pleasanton Teachers president Janice Clark and Classified School Employees Association president Laura Martinez.

Their ultimate goal is to have California funding for public school match the national average by the year 2020, and to reach the average of the top 10 states by 2025, objectives they seek to accomplish through further collaboration with regional and state education officials as well as community support.

Officials concluded the letter with a call to action for the community, asking residents to connect with their elected officials and encourage them to support education friendly legislation and increased funding for public schools.

Upcoming pending legislation affecting public schools include:

* Assembly Bill 39 -- Education finance: would specify new, higher base grant amounts for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

*AB 123 -- Early childhood education: Would expand state preschool program and enable local education agencies to blend their programs with transitional kindergarten.

*AB 30 -- Community colleges: Would bolster state's community college system.

*AB 197 -- Establish full-day kindergarten program.

Learn more at the Full and Fair Funding campaign website.

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