EdTrust-West Responds to the State Budget Proposal for 2024-2025

For Immediate Release

January 10, 2024

Contact: Mariel Matze, [email protected], 650-380-1973


EdTrust-West Responds to the State Budget Proposal for 2024-2025


Oakland, CA — In response to California’s proposed 2024-2025 budget, Rachel Ruffalo, Senior Director of Strategic Advocacy at EdTrust-West, issued the following statement:

We are relieved that Governor Newsom isn’t addressing the state budget deficit by mortgaging the futures of our students of color and multilingual learners. Instead, we appreciate that he has chosen to protect– and in some cases, expand—recent leaps forward in educational justice. Over the next few months, we will be urging the governor’s office and the legislature to continue to prioritize protecting vital educational programs centered on equity that are taking hold across the state.

We appreciate that the governor has chosen to shield and even accelerate several promising TK-12 programs that are on the cusp of benefiting students of color. We are especially glad to see that his budget proposal would rightfully protect the rollout of key TK-12 initiatives (e.g. transitional kindergarten, expanded learning opportunities, and the Golden State Pathways Program) and expand the implementation of the new math framework. We will continue to work with lawmakers to ensure that these equity-centered programs are prioritized.

Governor Newsom has largely refused to pass the buck to Black and Brown higher education students by protecting many—but not all—of the most crucial recent equity advancements. We are relieved that the budget proposal spares and supports California community colleges, the segment that is both most vulnerable to state budget deficits and that serves the greatest proportion of low-income students of color. Recent career education investments, including equity-centered programs like the Golden State Pathways program and the expansion of dual enrollment, will benefit from interagency coordination. Yet leaving the promise of fully funding the CalGrant financial aid program unfulfilled is a disappointment; students of color cannot wait any longer.

Additionally, we applaud the governor for continuing to support the implementation of the Cradle-to-Career Data System in his proposed budget, a crucial tool for understanding what’s happening with students and educators across the state in real-time.

See The Power of Now: Ed Trust–West’s 2023-24 Policy Agenda for more on EdTrust-West’s policy priorities. Our team is available for further comment if needed. Please contact Mariel Matze at 650-380-1973.


About EdTrust-West

EdTrust–West is an evidence-driven advocacy organization committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in California’s education system. For over two decades, EdTrust–West 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 edtrustwest.org or follow us on X.




More Posts

Send Us A Message

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.