September 20, 2019

Students in Pomona Unified scored a victory last month that may resound in California.

With persistence – and some legal help – they persuaded the school board to amend their annual spending plan, the LCAP, and put several million dollars toward hiring more counselors, expanding arts and music and providing more services for foster youth and English learners — instead of on police and security officers, as the board had planned.

This week, we speak with Jesus Sanchez, a community organizer and founder of Gente Organizada, and Iris Villalpando, a student leader, about why they fought so hard to change spending priorities in the district.

We also speak with Nicole Gon Ochi, senior attorney with the nonprofit law firm Public Advocates, who argues that spending state funding on services like counseling for English learners and low-income students is not only more effective in advancing student achievement but also a legal imperative under the state’s funding law, the Local Control Funding Formula.

Plus, EdSource early childhood reporter Zaidee Stavely discusses a bill on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk that would require every school to offer at least one full-day kindergarten class. About a fifth of California schools currently don’t do that.

For more, see the following articles: