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. 

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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.