California Voices: Education leaders speak out on Gov. Newsom’s budget proposals

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Source: EdSource

EdSource asked more than 40 education leaders — from John Affeldt to Edgar Zazueta — representing all segments of California’s education system to comment on Gov. Newsom’s sweeping budget proposals, which will set the direction for the state’s education priorities. Scroll down and click on the photos to read their thought-provoking responses on the governor’s plans for early educationK-12 and postsecondary education.

What impressed you the most about Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal?

It is affirming to see Governor Newsom commit to investing in initiatives that strengthen California’s K-12 education systems. This is much-needed in our state, as we know schools serving students of color and low-income students don’t have sufficient access to STEM courses and high-quality teachers. The governor’s proposal to invest $900 million for teacher preparation and recruitment is crucial for meeting the pressing needs of schools and districts. Equipping educators with adequate resources to better serve our state’s over 6 million students — from building out STEM curriculum to better supporting English learners — is pivotal as we educate California’s future leaders.

What do you feel is most notably missing, if anything?

While the increase in funding is promising for the California Community College, Cal State University, and University of California systems, we’d like to see an explicit commitment to use base funding increases to expand enrollment and help address the capacity challenges at our higher education institutions. Additionally, a huge barrier for students attending college is being able to afford it. We need Governor Newsom’s attention to the complex college affordability challenges in our state by working closely with financial aid stakeholders to ensure students are accessing current financial aid options, while proposing solutions to reform the Cal Grant program to better meet the full cost of college.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.