Friday, April 9, 2010

PTO Mentions Vacaville SOS Campaign!!!

This was posted by PTO Today on their Facebook page.

Fighting School Budget Cuts with Creativity

Megan Fox, American Idol, texting donations. Wow, parent groups certainly are finding original ways to combat extreme budget cuts! With the level of cuts we are seeing recently, the standard school fundraisers aren’t enough. Have to hand it to these school communities — instead of just bemoaning the cuts, they are banding together to make things happen. With creativity and flair to boot. Check out these programs:

An elementary school in Laurel Canyon, California enlisted the help of Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green to create a video about the proposed education cuts from the state budget. Someone on that PTA understands the meaning of “viral” for sure!

A troubled school district in Michigan has gone to impressive lengths to educate their community about budget cuts and offer ways people can help. The most compelling way is a raffle that is giving away 4 tickets to the American Idol Finale — including hotel and airfare. Sweet!

Most would agree that in many areas, cuts to school budgets have reached crisis proportions. Vacaville Unified school district in California took note of the texting fundraising methods used for recent crises, like the Haiti earthquake, and was the first school to use this method. Kudos to these folks for their resourcefulness.

We wish these parent groups the best of luck. How is your PTO or PTA fighting budget cuts? Would love to hear about your programs.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SOS Thursday!!!

Today is SOS Thursday, be sure to wear your shirts and share the message to Support Our Students!

The TEXT Message Signs are popping up around town, take a picture of your sign and share it with us on Facebook! We would love to see how your are supporting our students.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Californians KNOW: Cuts to education are NOT the answer!

Whether your school has a PTA, PTO, PTC or any other group of dedicated people fighting for our children, you will agree that it is NOT OK to cut any more funds from our children's schools.

I received a letter from the State PTA, Legislative Action Alert, dated April 7, 2010. It was something that I also thought you all would like to read. It has some GREAT links and sample letters. The purpose of the article was to help Californian's stand together and let our legislators know that ongoing cuts to education and critical children and family services are NOT the solution to the budget crisis taht we want to see.

Here is the article, follow this link for forms. I hope you will join me in writing our Governor and Legislators, the letters are in both English and Spanish.

Californians know: Cuts to education are not the answer!

Are you taking action to speak up for California's more than 9 million children? A California Field Poll, released on March 24, shows that an overwhelming 79 percent of Californians oppose budget cuts to public schools. Similarly, those surveyed also strongly opposed cuts to health care programs, higher education, mental health programs, child care and public assistance for low income families.

We must let our legislators know that ongoing cuts to education and critical children and family services are not the solution to the budget crisis that we, as their constituents, want to see. For more information on how the Governor's proposed budget cuts would affect your school district or county, go to the California Budget Project (CBP) analyses at

Send a letter to the Governor and your legislators today to let them know that public education and critical children's services must be protected from further budget cuts. Use one of the sample letters below or write your own letter drawing on your personal views and experiences.

* Letter to Governor (state & local impact) from parents (English) (en español)

* Letter to Governor (state impact only) from parents (English) (en español)

* Letter to legislator (state & local impact) from parents (English)

* Letter to legislator (state impact only) from parents (English)

Another way to take action is to volunteer to help your PTA unit, council or district to organize a letter writing campaign. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Letter campaign ideas

Thank you for all you do to speak up for California's 9 million children!

Let us know how you and your fellow PTA members are taking action, send your stories and photos to and

It will take ALL of us!!

As I was catching up on my reading (I feel like I am always playing catch up!) I saw the article that Ernest Kimme wrote on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010. IT WAS GREAT! I think it is one that should be featured here as well. Follow this link to find out more:


Kimme: School funds: Do the math
By Ernest Kimme
Posted: 04/06/2010 02:02:15 AM PDT

My apologies in advance: There are a lot of numbers in this column.

It is not that, as a former math teacher, I feel the need to torture people. It is that, when we are talking about raising money for our schools, a little math has to creep in somewhere.

First, the elephant in the room: $8 million.

That is the amount the Vacaville Unified School District is guessing that we will have to cut from the budget. If everything in Sacramento went right, and bi-partisan fairy princesses dusted the Legislature, we might have to cut only half of that.

The problem is that our school district has already done a lot of cutting. Just a couple of years ago, our district had a budget approaching $100 million. At $80 million today, we are past the fat and down to muscle and bone: whole programs will have to go. Elementary music. School libraries. After-school sports.

Or we might raise revenue. In Vacaville, a bunch of dedicated parents found a new way to raise money for our district.

You should be seeing the signs around town soon. On your cell phone, text the letters "SOS" to 25383, and you will be donating $10 to the Vacaville School District. The charge shows up on the phone bill. Easy and convenient!

So let's run some numbers. There are about 13,000 students in Vacaville schools. To keep it simple, let's say there are 10,000 families with students in schools, that every family calls 25383 and donates $10. That would total $100,000.

Remember, we are planning on cutting $8 million from our budget.

Did you notice all the emphasis on "our" school district and "our" budget? That's because it is "our" problem. Even those who do not have students in school benefit from good schools. At the very least, a good education will keep people out of expensive jails. But the biggest benefit is that education creates better jobs and a better economy. A rising tide raises all ships, that sort of thing.

There are approximately 30,000 households in Vacaville. If every household called 25383 five times, our school district would get approximately $1.5 million in donations.

The lesson is clear: Everybody needs to be involved, and once is not enough. Talk to your neighbors and co-workers. We are not going to prevent all of the cuts, but we can save some programs.

And if you don't like texting, visit There you will be able to donate any amount you want.

And if you hate computers and texting, the Vacaville Public Education Foundation (3442 Browns Valley Parkway, Vacaville 95688) will be happy to take a check.

The numbers don't lie; everybody will have to be involved to make a difference.

- - -

The author is a Vacaville resident and member of The Reporter editorial board. E-mail:

Monday, April 5, 2010

TEXT Message Signs Will Canvas Vacaville!

Today is the day!!! The text message signs will start to canvas Vacaville!! Look for them everywhere & PLEASE donate.