Ed Trust–West Responds to Governor Newsom’s Veto of Assembly Bill 751


In response to Governor Newsom’s veto of Assembly Bill 751, Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Executive Director of Ed TrustWest issued the following statement:

Ed Trust–West applauds Governor Newsom for vetoing Assembly Bill 751, which would have permitted alternate assessments for 11th grade students and in doing so, dramatically increased the use of the SAT and ACT.

By vetoing AB 751, Governor Newsom made a bold statement that he will stand up for low-income students, students of color, and educational justice. By definition, college entry exams like the SAT and the ACT were designed to sort and weed out students. We agree with the Governor’s justification that this proposed shift was inequitable and would have undermined our state’s accountability system – the very tool that has been used to illuminate educational inequities for years. It would have made it harder for families, community leaders, and advocates to hold schools and districts accountable for giving all students the supports they need to thrive. 

Just as important as the outcome here is the process. Our elected officials have a responsibility to listen to students, educators, parents, and experts. By vetoing a bill that was opposed by more than 30 organizations advocating for educational justice, Governor Newsom showed he will do just that. We thank him, his team, and our advocacy partners, and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to accelerate progress toward educational justice for California students.


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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.