Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Parent group to lobby state on education: "SCOTTSDALE - Parents in the Scottsdale Unified School District want to make sure the Legislature knows they are watching. The Scottsdale Parent Council is organizing to lobby the Legislature in hopes of preventing cuts in education funding. 'We're going to keep informed, and we're going to inform parents,' said Amy Besing, the parent council's vice president of legislation. Some lawmakers have predicted a state budget deficit of as much as $500 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Most of the budget is devoted to education. Several parents have registered as lobbyists and plan to meet with legislators before the Jan. 10 start of the next lawmaking session. The session usually runs until May or June. The non-profit Scottsdale Parent Council has more than 50 members and is interested in state funding decisions. Members have been more active since the 2003 legislative session, when lawmakers threatened to reduce education funding because of what then was a $1 billion budget deficit. Most education funding was spared the budget ax, in part because of parent lobbying. Parents are encouraged to call or e-mail legislators with their concerns."