Vulnerable Student Groups Could Fall Behind In Distance Learning


Source: KPBS

Poway Unified School District staff spent Thursday morning passing out thousands of Google Chromebooks to students who don’t have computers at home. It’s a scene being played out across California as districts launch online learning programs.

But as districts hurry to begin an unprecedented transition to distance learning, experts worry that vulnerable student populations won’t get the state-mandated services they need.

“That lack of consistency often means students of color, low income students, and English Learners are the ones that are left with resources that are not comparable to other students,” said Elisha Smith Arrillaga, the director of The Education Trust-West. 

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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.