The Education Trust–West Responds to the Final 2023-2024 Budget Agreement

For Immediate Release
June 30, 2023
Contact: Dr. Christopher J. Nellum, 5108796220


Oakland, CA — In anticipation of Governor Newsom signing the budget trailer bills for the 2023-2024 state budget, Dr. Christopher J. Nellum, executive director of  The Education Trust–West, issued the following statement:

“California’s 2023-24 education budget as proposed is thankfully less severe than many students, teachers, and families feared. So far, policymakers have largely shielded key investments in California’s students of color and multilingual learners from this year’s budgetary deficit, though it misses some opportunities to advance equity.   

If we focus on what young dual language learners and children of color in California need most, we cannot undervalue the importance of investing in the adults who care for them. Increases to provider reimbursement rates are a step in the right direction, but their one-time nature limits the benefits that the legislature has fought for to the short-term. We hope that the governor and legislature prioritize sustainable, long-term solutions establishing reimbursement rates that reflect the true cost of care. However, this budget does offer low-income families much-needed relief from heavy fees through waiver continuation, debt forgiveness, and income-based caps. 

We are glad that the elected officials preserved and even built upon critical K-12 advancements toward equity. Because the governor and legislature listened to students, educators, and communities, the Golden State Pathways Program will remain a vital investment in young people’s journeys to college and critical career opportunities. Tightened accountability measures in districts’ Local Control Accountability Plans will push schools to address disparities in their support for students of color and multilingual learners. We also appreciate an adjustment to the governor’s equity multiplier that appears to incorporate a broader measure of disadvantage; we will continue to advocate for bold policies that push resources to Black students. 

Investments in our colleges and universities and increased accountability and transparency will help move California towards a higher education landscape that can meet the diverse needs of its students of color. We commend lawmakers’ commitment to their promises of predictable operating support balanced with firmer accountability and transparency measures. The state is also backing up recent strides toward college affordability by funding additional staffing and programming for the California Student Aid Commission, and we call on lawmakers to make good on their promise of fully funding Cal Grant reform next year. 

Moving into the rest of the legislative cycle and looking toward next year’s budget, we hope that state policymakers will continue to prioritize educational opportunity for the students of color and multilingual learners across the state who are counting on them”. 

Should the final budget include key omissions or changes, Ed Trust–West will respond with an updated statement.  

Please contact Dr. Christopher J. Nellum at 5108796220 for support with further comment. 


About The Education Trust–West  

The Education TrustWest is an evidence-driven advocacy organization committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the California education system. For over two decades, Ed TrustWest has worked to improve racial equity in education by engaging diverse communities and increasing political and public will to build an education system where students of color and multilingual learners will thrive. For more information, see or follow us on Twitter. 


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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.