Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 12, 2023
Contact: Mariel Matze, [email protected], 650-380-1973 


Oakland, CA —  In response to Governor Newsom’s 2023-2024 budget revision, Dr. Christopher J. Nellum, executive director of The Education Trust–West, issued the following statement: 

This budget cycle, the state is contending with both a deficit and a delay in state revenues. Historically, when California faces scarcity or uncertainty, it falls unevenly across the state; it’s typically Californians of color earning lower incomes who must wonder if they’ll see the resources they deserve, and when they do, they are often not enough. This time must be different: the Californians already closest to scarcity and uncertainty cannot be where we find the flexibility, we’ll need to navigate murky fiscal waters. If cuts have to be made, now or later in the year, California should draw on its progressive values and innovative thinking to make them elsewhere. 

For too long, the individuals and systems that support our youngest learners have been operating under strain—and this budget provides very little relief. Continuing to waive family fees will help low-income families keep their child care, but without additional subsidized slots, too many will still have to go without child care options altogether. For many providers, the end of hold harmless policies will only exacerbate the injustice of getting paid poverty wages to do the state’s most important labor. Without rate increases and an overhaul of our deeply inequitable rate reimbursement structure, it’ll only get harder to straddle the gulf between the true cost of providing care and inadequate state investment. 

Black students in K-12 schools, like Black students in all learning settings, need more from us. Student performance indicates where students aren’t getting what they need, and again and again, the numbers point glaringly to Black and Native American students. While we are glad to see substantial improvements that ask school districts to specify their plans to reduce racial disparities, we look forward to seeing bolder steps toward Black student success. Young Black people need profound change urgently. 

Higher education institutions count on California to help steady their financial foundations—and so do students. Provided colleges and universities show improvement, California appears ready to keep its promise of budget increases and cost-of-living adjustments. That faithfulness is commendable, but more could be done to fulfill the promises made to students. While support for financial aid applications builds on the positive momentum of recent years, that effort is incomplete if the financial aid on offer is inequitable. All college affordability resources should first go where they are needed most: toward Cal Grant reform. 

Please contact Mariel Matze at 650-380-1973 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.