Sacramento Safari

Image via California Department of Parks and Recreation

Many parents of school-aged children are active at the school or district level, but did you know that there are entire teams of parents who are working at the statewide level to track legislation and work toward sound policies for our kids? Our statewide and regional PTAs dedicate their time to advocating for school children’s needs in Sacramento, and the people who lead this effort are just regular parents like you and me.

This week I’m taking a few days off from South Bay Sparkle and the Jolly Tomato to head up to Sacramento for the Sacramento Safari, a three-day advocacy training and legislative visit with a group from the 33rd District of the California State PTA (The 33rd District cuts a wide swath through L.A. County) . There will be a total of 69 adult and student delegates lined up for a full schedule of legislative briefings and visits to our lawmakers.

Of all the times (and seasons) to visit Sacramento, this is a tough one. Our state is facing a multi-billion dollar budget deficit and school districts are grappling with budget cuts, larger class sizes, and aging facilities. Although the California PTA has a detailed platform of advocacy goals in the areas of education, parent involvement, health, and community concerns, one of the top priorities this season is to secure adequate funding for education to ensure that every child reaches his or her potential.

It’s a big job, for sure. I’ll report back on what I’ve learned when I return from Sacramento.