- Los Angeles Unified School District
Board Member Mónica García’s Equity is Justice 2021 Resolution Passes to Enhance Commitment to Racial Justice and Equity (5-11-2021)
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Board Member Mónica García’s Equity is Justice 2021 Resolution Passes to Enhance Commitment to Racial Justice and Equity
LOS ANGELES – May 11, 2021–Today the Board of Education voted to pass the Equity is Justice 2021 Resolution, furthering the effort for equitable funding in Los Angeles Unified. This resolution ensures that more dollars are invested in the Student Equity Needs Index (SENI) funding formula and that the COVID-19 relief funding will be allocated based on school need. The Board affirms its support for an equity-based funding formula and the Community of Schools strategy, allowing for more local control and school autonomy. The measure requests the Office of the Superintendent to create a task force to evaluate the impact of the SENI investments.
This measure is a result of the advocacy and hard work of the community, parents, students and staff. This action is a follow-up to the 2014 and 2018 ‘Equity is Justice’ resolutions that set our district on a path toward more equitable funding for our schools and students. The resolution was sponsored by Board Member Mónica García and co-sponsored by Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin and Student Board Member Kamarie Brown.
“Today's affirmation from the Board of Education to invest in the needs of Los Angeles Unified's highest need students and schools is a response to a community led effort that began decades ago,” Board Member García said. “It is on all of us to ensure our kids have the resources they need individually and collectively to be successful, to graduate, and to be well. I am grateful for our allies and partners for their undying support and I look forward to seeing that educational justice is served. There is much more to do: we need to empower schools to create their solutions and we need to pivot to a student-centered formula that advances achievement.”
“I’m honored to support a community-led action to more than double the District’s commitment to equity and our highest-need communities, those hardest hit by COVID-19 and institutionalized racism,” Board Member Ortiz Franklin said. “The Student Equity Needs Index (SENI) is a win-win, giving flexible and equitable resources to all schools, and I am proud to see our collective effort result in meaningful support for our students.”
“I am proud to co-sponsor the Equity is Justice resolution because it recognizes and aims to repair the disparities created by institutional racism, divestment in communities of color, and obsolete methods for school funding,” School Board Member Brown said. “This resolution is a bold approach to providing students with equitable resources and is a powerful step in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Underfunded schools mean underfunded students. As the Student Board Member, I believe we cannot allow this to continue.”
“As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, our schools urgently need more resources to ensure they can meet their students’ holistic needs,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “I’m glad the Board has made equity a priority today and will provide much-needed funding to our schools in communities, such as the East Valley, that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”
“This pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated existing inequities in our public school system--and our students should be at the center of our decisions as we help them recover from an unimaginable year of trauma and loss,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “Today, the Board voted to give all our school communities more funding and resources to support their path to recovery, with the highest amount of support going to our highest need schools.”
“We applaud the Los Angeles Unified School Board for supporting the expansion of much needed resources for our highest need schools,” Maria Brenes, Executive Director of InnerCity Struggle, said. “All budgets are a reflection of values and more than ever before we need the district's resource allocations to reflect transformation for our young people and our communities. Today, the Board took a bold step forward toward greater equity. We MUST have more investment and support for the communities hardest hit by this pandemic. We cannot allow for the opportunity gaps that have harmed Black and Brown students to deepen. Thank you, Board Members García and Ortiz Franklin for your leadership! And thank you Student Board Member Brown for your voice!”
“We are excited about the commitment the district has made to the highest-need schools in Los Angeles Unified which serve essential families who have sacrificed their health and lives to keep our city and county moving and thriving,” Aurea Montes-Rodriguez, Executive Vice President of Community Coalition said. “These same families live in parts of the district, like South LA, that for far too long experienced disinvested and been ignored. The Board has made the SENI the vehicle for equity and this $700 million investment sends a strong message and demonstrates their commitment to the equity we need to keep building.”
“We applaud Los Angeles Unified’s Board for passing the Equity is Justice 2021 Resolution, which will provide immediate, much needed flexible funding to our highest-need schools, including 19 schools in the Partnership’s network,” Ryan Smith said. He is the interim chief executive officer for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which is a member of the Equity Alliance for LA’s Kids. “These funds will mean more critical supports for under-resourced schools, including psychiatric social workers, intervention coordinators, attendance counselors, planning time for teachers and other important interventions, which school communities can use to respond to the specific needs of individual schools. It is especially gratifying to see these funds approved now, so that we continue to stem the effect of structural inequities exacerbated by COVID-19.”
“VICTORY! Today Los Angeles Unified serves as a beacon of light and hope for students by making a $700 million equity investment in schools with high needs,” Karla Pletiez Howell said. She is the Chief of Policy and Programs for the Advancement Project California. “California's success and prosperity depends on our public schools' capacity to spark opportunity. Today's YES vote on Board Member Garcia’s Equity is Justice 2021 resolution means all Los Angeles Unified students across the district have an equal chance for that spark. We applaud Board Members García, Ortiz Franklin, Melvoin, Gonez, Schmerelson and Brown for leading the charge and recognizing the voices and needs of students and families.”