Press Release

Oakland, CA — In response to California’s final 2022-2023 budget, Dr. Christopher J. Nellum, executive director of The Education Trust–West, issued the following statement:

Just as actions speak louder than words, funding that centers on equity certainly speaks louder than progressive rhetoric. Fortunately, the final 2022-2023 state budget is resoundingly the budget that Californians shut out from opportunity deserve.

California has seen tremendous financial surpluses in recent years—all while Black and Brown Californians have endured the worst consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and make up a disproportionate share of the unemployed. Today, we finally have a budget that’s long overdue: one that invests in the most marginalized Californians. It addresses priorities that The Education Trust–West has advocated for alongside students and families for years, including all of our budgetary “Equity 8” priorities for the Governor and the Legislature, investments in pandemic-related learning recovery, dual enrollment, professional development for math and science educators, and implementing alternatives to remedial community college courses. Investments like these will go a long way toward righting the wrongs of California’s past—and we want to see more of them in years to come.

Much has been said about this year’s surplus, yet when compared to decades—even centuries—of systemic financial starvation that communities of color have endured, even its mighty billions are just a drop in the proverbial bucket. We need years and years of budgets like this one before we’ll see education systems that are not only engines of the state’s industry and intellect, but also engines of justice.

But for now, as schools, colleges, and universities across the state celebrate the accomplishments of their most recent graduates, we will be also celebrating the tremendous step forward of the final state budget. And this summer, as these dollars flow from Sacramento to the K-12 schools, early learning and care settings, colleges, and universities across the state, they must be spent on approaches to implementation that prioritize those who are farthest from opportunity first. California’s young people are counting on us.

Dr. Nellum is available for further comment if needed. Please contact Mariel Matze at 650-380-1973. For our “Closer Look” analysis, please watch your email and check our DisruptEd blog later this month.

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. Learn more here.