California’s Neediest Students Will Take Brunt of Proposed Budget Cuts


OAKLAND, CA (May 14, 2010) Today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his revised budget plans for the fiscal year 2010–2011.  Although the Governor proposed no additional cuts that would directly impact the classroom, The Education Trust—West remains deeply concerned about the cumulative effect of two straight years of devastating cuts to public education overall.

It is evident that California’s neediest students and their families will endure the collective brunt of all the budget reductions proposed thus far.  The consecutive loss of education funding, combined with newly proposed decreases to the CalWORKs program and the elimination of Proposition 98 childcare dollars will devastate the social safety nets of the very students that attend our highest-need schools.

As Governor Schwarzenegger and the State Legislature head into budget deliberations, we implore our state leaders to pursue a reasonable and responsible budget that protects our most vulnerable citizens while simultaneously ensuring our public schools receive the funding they need.

“No challenge is ever too great to not do what is best for our children,” stated Arun Ramanathan, executive director of The Education Trust—West, a leading policy, research and advocacy organization that works to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement.  “Our policymakers must do everything they can to protect the services that ensure children are ready to learn and the classrooms where learning occurs.”

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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.