The City of Irvine is currently undergoing a transition to a two-year budget, and as part of this process, City leadership has proposed cuts of up to $2 million to K-12 education support. Irvine has always been able to do more with less, thanks to incredible community support and creative approaches to making educational excellence a priority. Any cuts to City support of education would further widen the per-pupil funding gap in Irvine, and negatively impact the educational experience of more than 35,000 students in IUSD.
The Challenge Match Grant is one of the areas that are under consideration for cuts in the City budget. As you know, the City matches all donations to IPSF, up to $1.3 million annually, to help inspire the parent and corporate community to give generously in support of education. 100% of Challenge Match Grant funds are passed through directly to the district – IPSF does not take any overhead or fees from these funds. The benefit of the match is two-fold: IUSD receives the donation of $1.3 million, but it also allows IPSF to leverage the match into additional fundraising, which translates into more funds for the district. Each year, IPSF donates over $2 million in cash to IUSD to help fund critical areas including Teachers, Instructional Assistants, Music Specialists, Nurses, Athletic Trainers, Mental Health Counselors and more. Cuts to this program would not only affect the $1.3 million contributions from the City, but they would also negatively impact IPSF’s ability to fundraise for additional district support.
The other elements of the City’s funding for education through the Educational Partnership Fund are equally important to IUSD students, including additional support for School Resource Officers, Crossing Guards, School Nurses and Counselors, and more. City support funds PEOPLE – people who provide crucial services that impact each child in every IUSD school. Please help spread the word that we need to send a message to the City leadership that educational excellence matters in the City of Irvine.
You can help by attending the upcoming City of Irvine Budget Meetings this month to voice your concern about proposed cuts to key education and school safety programs or contact City Council Members directly.
· March 20 at Portola Springs Community Center from 6-7 p.m.
PTA and IPSF strongly encourage you to reach out to our city council members to reconsider the proposed $2 million cuts to our school. Some talking points you can make are:
• Demand that before making funding cuts to IUSD students and disregarding the will of Irvine voters and the City Council, the new City Leadership should survey Irvine residents and/or put another measure on the ballot.
• Inform the City Leadership that 70 percent of Irvine voters overwhelming passed Measures R and BB in back-to-back elections because they know quality schools increase property values, drive home sales, and support a safe and prosperous community.
• Remind the City Leadership that Irvine is often cited as one of the best places to live, with education as a top factor in the rankings, demonstrating the clear nexus between Irvine’s prosperity and IUSD schools.
• Tell the City Leadership that it is wrong to balance the budget on the backs of Irvine students and to force Irvine residents to choose between student safety and instruction.
• Many families have moved to Irvine and pay premium prices to live here so they can send their children to IUSD schools. Hardworking families with school-age children and Irvine residents will not accept any proposals that decrease instruction and safety while widening the IUSD funding gap.
• The City’s masterplan, specifically places schools at the heart of each neighborhood, because the current City Council and previous councils have prioritized education and know the value it brings to Irvine, which is unlike any other city. Tell the new City Leadership, in Irvine, we support student safety and instruction and that sacrificing one for the other is unacceptable.
Thank you, PTA and IPSF