On May 1, 2019, nearly 200 advocates and activists gathered in Sacramento for the second annual Education Equity Advocacy Day. Coming from around the state – from Sacramento to Compton – these student and parent leaders, educators, and other advocates met with over 80 legislative offices to urge support on two key education proposals that have the potential to improve racial equity in California schools and colleges.
For far too long, California has lacked actionable, accessible data that follows students from K-12 through college and the workforce to truly assess how well schools and colleges are preparing students. Governor Newsom, Assemblymember Irwin, and Senator Glazer have all put forth State Longitudinal Data System for education (SLDS) proposals. An SLDS is crucial to better understand what’s working and what’s not in supporting students through our K12 and higher education systems. During legislative meetings, advocates called on policymakers to not only support the SLDS, but to ensure it is developed and implemented with equity at the foundation, sharing our recently released Data for the People brief. The brief assesses how equity-focused all three proposals are, and provides a set of 5 equity principles to follow in the development and implementation of such a system.
A strong education data system is a crucial lever for increasing the number of underserved students of color in California colleges. Another key component in increasing college-going is ensuring students can afford college. During our 2019 advocacy day, advocates also championed a proposed bill that would further integrate FAFSA and CA Dream Act Applications into a student’s high school experience – Assembly Bill 1617, authored by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes and sponsored by Ed Trust-West. AB 1617 builds off the success with similar approaches seen locally and nationally. Read more about the efforts to improve financial aid completion in California in this blog.
It wasn’t a coincidence that Advocacy Day was held on May 1. The day marked the 5th annual College Signing Day, a nationally recognized effort to celebrate and support college-going around the country. Advocates gathered on the State Capitol grounds, joining together with speakers including Assemblymember Weber, Assemblymember Reyes, Val Verde USD Superintendent Michael McCormick, and inspiring local college student Chris Adams for a College Signing Day Rally, one of over 3,000 College Signing Day events around the country.
KCRA Coverage of College Signing Day Rally in Sacramento
You can see more about Advocacy Day, the SLDS, and AB 1617 by visiting our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages and following the following hashtags:
Thank you to all the folks who traveled from around the state to bring the fight for educational equity and justice directly to state policymakers!