Press Release: CCSA, California Legislative Black Caucus Unite to Demand Educational Equity Now

April 11, 2018

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Media Contact:
Brittany Parmley
bparmley@ccsa.org
916-221-8588

CCSA, California Legislative Black Caucus Unite to Demand Educational Equity Now

More equitable funding structure needed for African-American students in California

Sacramento, CA - In an effort to engender greater equity within California's educational system, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) today joined members of the California Legislative Black Caucus and members of California's African-American community to announce Assembly Bill (AB) 2635, which will secure additional educational funding for African-American students by fixing a fundamental flaw in the state's educational budget known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

AB2635 drives equitable funding for California's lowest performing subgroup of students not currently receiving funding under the LCFF, which are African-American students. Additionally, this bill demands greater accountability from both school district and charter school recipients of these supplemental funds over the education outcomes of African-American students.

"It's time for us to speak directly and honestly about the fact that black students are failing in plain sight, instead of using euphemisms such as "low-income" students," said Dr. Margaret Fortune, Board Chair, CCSA and CEO, Fortune School of Education. "While it's true that poverty can influence educational outcomes, poverty alone does not explain the chronic and persistent low academic performance of African-American students. It's high time we call the problem by its name and demand educational equity now. AB 2635 does just that by directing resources to African-American students based on their academic performance."

The LCFF was designed to usher in a more equitable education finance system, but today, it only identifies three classifications of "high needs" students for additional funding: English learners, low-income students and foster youth. While these students absolutely need this funding, the formula overlooks 90,000 African-American students statewide who are not classified as low-income, but still perform below average in English and math. African-American students also have the lowest high school graduation rates and the highest suspension rates of any student group.

"We cannot look the other way anymore. African-American kids in California persistently fall behind academically," Assemblywomen Shirley Weber said. "Parents have been patiently waiting for something to change, but it has not. Providing additional resources for the lowest-performing students is now no longer an option, but a necessity."

AB 2635 corrects and directs more money to students with the greatest need in a way that better realizes Governor Brown's original intent when crafting the LCFF in 2013. This bill is sponsored by CCSA and authored by Assemblymembers Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), Autumn Burke (D-Marina del Rey), and Mike Gipson (D-Carson).

For a full list of support and for more information about AB 2635, visit www.educationequitynow.org.