For Immediate Release
July 9, 2021
Contact: Duc Luu, firstname.lastname@example.org, 857-373-9118
We celebrate the State’s historic investments to reimagine and rebuild California’s educational system and call on districts to invest in restorative learning and racially just, relationship-centered community schools.
Today, Governor Newsom signed AB 130, the 2021 education budget bill that includes extraordinary levels of investment in California’s TK-12 education. The California Partnership for the Future of Learning is thrilled to see our calls for robust investment in racially just, relationship-centered, and transformative community schools reflected in the $3 billion provided for the California Community Schools Partnership Program (see our advocacy letters from February 12, 2021, April 16, 2021, and May 17, 2021, which include the support of 50 community, policy and research allies).
We are also excited to see our requests for increased funding for critical educator training and professional development to attract and support diverse, well-prepared educators in California’s schools included in the $2.9 billion allocated for teacher recruitment, retention and professional development programs. Moreover, we support the permanent increase to the LCFF concentration grant to increase staffing for districts serving large concentrations of low-income students, foster youth and English learners.
We applaud the State’s commitment to trauma-informed training for educators and staff and the emphasis on students’ emotional and mental health in the budget. Key investments include $6.15 million to support the standardized application of school climate surveys, which we have long-sought, substantial educator professional development funding (e.g., $25 million on student behavioral health, $52 million on social-emotional learning and trauma-informed practices, and $10 million on anti-bias education). This is in addition to the establishment of a state Office of School-Based Health and other multi-million dollar investments in the budget for children and youth behavioral health initiatives, including expanding school-based health services.
Student and parent leaders are equally excited about the education budget: “It makes me feel empowered that youth voices were heard in the state discussion about the budget. This budget is a step in the right direction towards racial and educational justice!” said Isaiah Vega, a youth leader with Californians for Justice in Fresno.
Beatriz Loera, a parent leader with PICO California Education for Liberation in San Bernardino City Unified School District reflected that, “as parents, we were thrilled to see our Governor and legislators respond to our calls to invest in our children by creating racially just community schools. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us. We are committed to working as partners with teachers, school staff, and district leaders to make our shared vision of community schools – where every child and young person belongs – a reality for every student in California.”
With historic funding levels, we have an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine our schools and address the root causes of education inequity in California by committing to dismantling systemic racism in our schools and centering the voices of students and families. After a year of research grounded in the experiences of youth and families-of-color, the California Partnership for the Future of Learning released a platform to “Reimagine and Rebuild” what education can look like for our students, a place where schools:
- Center relationships
- Address whole child needs
- Strengthen diverse staffing and partnerships
- Make teaching and learning relevant and rigorous
- Empower teams to reimagine and rebuild systems
We applaud the State for making substantial investments in racially just, relationship-centered community schools and diverse educator recruitment and support programs to sustainably rebuild California’s schools and accelerate pandemic recovery. We now call on school districts to meaningfully invest in school transformation by supporting students, families, educators and community members to collaborate as partners in decision-making to ensure that funds are spent effectively and transparently.
The California Partnership for the Future of Learning is a statewide alliance of community organizing and advocacy groups advancing a shared vision of a transformational, racially just education system built for us all.
It is led by Advancement Project California, Californians for Justice, PICO California, and Public Advocates, with the support of Community Coalition, InnerCity Struggle, and over a dozen grassroots, research and philanthropic partners.