The Power of Now: Ed Trust–West’s 2023-24 Policy Agenda


California is home to over 8 million students in TK-12 classrooms and on college campuses across the state with big dreams for their future – dreams that should be respected, nurtured, celebrated and, perhaps most notably, in a state as resource-rich and allegedly progressive as California, supported through equitable resource allocation, policies, and practices. Instead, far too many of these students and their families face an unnecessary uphill battle when it comes to their educational journeys. Ed Trust–West’s 2023-24 Policy Agenda lays out the 13 priorities we will boldly pursue over the next year and legislative cycle to address the barriers these students face. As elected officials, state agencies, boards, and commissions, district leaders, and school boards identify top priorities for the coming year, we urge them to draw from these priorities to ensure their own policy and practice agendas are equity minded and center students of color and multilingual learners. We look forward to engaging with fellow advocates and leaders throughout California to achieve these targeted, strategic, and bold actions for Black, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American and multilingual students and their families.

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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.