Statement from Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga in Response to Proposition 15 Outcome
OAKLAND, Calif. — For too long, we have starved our public schools of the resources they need to support students. Schools lack the financial resources necessary to provide a high-quality learning environment for all students. Prop 15 presented an opportunity to reimagine how educational resources are directed rather than maintain the status quo.
2020 has presented unprecedented challenges to schools this year, as the pandemic forced schools to shutter their buildings and offer distance learning. Unfortunately, only 35% of parents in California rate their child’s experience with distance learning as successful. Parents are also calling for school leaders to help close the digital divide; 92% of parents would like their schools to lend mobile technology devices like iPads or laptops to each child in the family. To ensure students’ distance learning experience is successful, schools need the financial resources to make that a reality.
The current system has barred schools from securing the resources necessary to adequately serve students who need additional support. Although the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) redistributed funds to improve equity — based on the enrollment of students with needs, including English Language Learners, students impacted by homelessness, students in the foster care system and students from low-income backgrounds — researchers have consistently concluded California’s public schools are underfunded by approximately $20 billion. Prop 15 would have increased equity in the way public schools are funded by allocating additional K-12 resources towards students most in need.
Although Prop 15 was unsuccessful in this election, The Education Trust–West will continue to fiercely advocate with students, families and educators who cannot wait for stronger schools. We will work with local, state and federal policymakers to advocate for the equitable funding our schools and students deserve.
About The Education Trust–West
The Education Trust–West works for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-K through college, in the state of California. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.