About 200 parents, school officials and others from around the East Bay spent the day in Sacramento on Wednesday, making their annual call for more education funding.

With deep education cuts expected to help balance the state budget, organizers said the 28th annual Advocacy Day had even more meaning than usual.

The outing was organized by the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs, Livermore Valley PTA Council, Alameda PTA Council and the Las Trampas Creek Council PTA, that serves Lafayette, Moraga, Walnut Creek and Orinda area schools.

San Ramon Valley school district spokesman Terry Koehne said one of the main themes attendees stressed was for legislators to not support the cuts proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"That was one of the biggest messages we had," he said.

Attendees met with local state legislators and education advocates. They also attended an Assembly education committee hearing.

Patty Hoyt, chairwoman of the event, said there were no surprises from the lawmakers, as organizers already knew what their opinions would be.

She said the payoff was what attendees learned about the governmental process.

"I think we're going to have a whole new batch of empowered citizens," she said.

Eric Louie covers education. Reach him at elouie@bayareanewsgroup.com or 925-847-2123.



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