Californians for Justice runs statewide and district-level campaigns in each of our four regions. The scope of our local campaigns ranges from school discipline and college access, to healthy schools and community gardens. While CFJ student members make changes in their districts, they come together to make an impact on the statewide level as well. CFJ’s statewide platform as part of our current Strategic Plan is to win adequate and equitable school funding to make sure all students graduate 100% prepared for college and career and attend green and healthy schools. Our statewide priorities for racial justice and education reform are:
- Adequate and Equitable Funding
- Fair discipline policies
- Teacher Evaluations
- Community College Policy
Read on to learn more about the campaigns in each of our regions, and how you can stay updated on their progress!
Californians for Justice Fresno organizes students at Roosevelt, Edison, and Fresno High Schools.
Fresno youth wrapped up the 2013-2014 school year continuing their fight to include student and parent voice in Fresno Unified’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and budget. Alongside parent and student allies from organizations across Fresno, our youth and adult organizers successfully advocated for the voices of those most affected to be reflected in their districts LCAP.
One of the major victories is Fresno Unified’s continued investment and expansion of Restorative Justice programs in thirteen Fresno Unified schools. RJ empowers students and staff to solve conflicts using a holistic approach and addresses the needs of both the victim and offender. Due to the tireless efforts of our young people and allies, Fresno Unified is investing millions of dollars in social emotional supports & counselors, an expansion of their safe & civil schools program and student mentoring programs. Because students of color are harshly disciplined and pushed out of school at disproportionate rates, RJ and the culture that promotes learning from mistakes and positive support has been a key victory for us here in Fresno.
To address the needs of English Language Learners, we fought for and won 18 Home School Liaison positions for our schools that need them most. The liaison responsibilities will be more clearly defined and will aim to better serve our Spanish-speaking and Hmong-speaking communities. Another huge win was the investment in four new social workers who will provide intensive case management to foster and high risk homeless students. In addition to these major wins, our students demanded and won an increase in psychological, counseling and mentoring services, an investment in athletic uniforms and protective gear, 47 new custodial positions to improve the conditions on school-sites, an increase in career-technical programs and supports, and new fresh fruit and vegetable food programs.
CFJ Fresno is extremely proud that the voices of young people and the hard work they put in to shift Fresno Unified’s priorities are continuing to be heard, valued and reflected. Follow us on Facebook to get recent updates!
Californians for Justice Long Beach organizes students at Cabrillo, Polytechnic and Jordan High School.
In the 2013-14 school year we organized youth around student voice and ensuring that students have a meaningful way to engage around the LCFF process (the new process for how schools are funded). We are asking that the district implement more creative and thoughtful ways to engage students such as:
1) circulating a student survey throughout the district or holding community forums especially for students
2) creating an LCAP student advisory committee that is specifically focused on LCFF and
3) passing a district policy that requires two high needs students participate at the school site council.
Long Beach student leaders have also continued their partnership with Khmer Girls in Action and other allies of the Building Healthy Communities initiative – the Every Student Matters campaign. With the successful passage of the Long Beach Discipline Resolution in October of 2013 we are continuing to work towards ensuring that LCFF funding go towards outcomes that will impact School Climate, such as more funding for Restorative practice coordinators and social workers. In addition to ensuring that no supplemental or concentration funds be used to hire school police and campus security. We are also continuing our partnership with the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition which is a coalition of L.A. community organizations that work towards a common agenda to improve the lives of young men of color.
Follow us on Facebook to get recent updates!
Californians for Justice San Jose organizes students at Independence, James Lick, and W. C. Overfelt High Schools.
In the 2013-2014 school year, CFJ student members began working on ensuring meaningful student voice in the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in our East Side High School District (ESHSD). In an effort to identify a formal process to engage students in LCFF, CFJ student leaders and staff held a community townhall, titled My Voice Matters, to demonstrate the Participatory Budget Process (PBP) with students, parents, and district officials. CFJ students felt participatory budgeting allows students and parents to meaningfully develop solutions to issues they see in their schools. In order to ensure student voice is not left out in meeting student needs, CFJ San Jose proposes:
- For ESHSD to adopt the Participatory Budget Process for the school year 2014-2015 at the district level, and set aside a budget to engage the school community in identifying needs for high need students and developing projects to address these necessities.
- For ESHSD to pilot participatory budget in two high need high schools for the 2014-2015 school year to engage the schools’ communities in identifying challenges and developing solutions that reflect the necessities of high need students.
CFJ San Jose is also working with community organizations, along with ESHSD, so that parents and students are meaningful engaged in decisions affecting education. Follow us on Facebook to get recent updates!
Californians for Justice Oakland organizes students at Oakland High School.
In 2013-2014, after the historic passing of Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), CFJ Oakland organized students around the issue of students’ voices being reflected in the final Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) accountability and budget plans. To ensure that the LCFF money directly impacted students, CFJ Oakland is fighting for a formal process that meaningfully engages students in the budget decision-making process. Students are proposing the following to the district:
- To form a LCAP Student Advisory Committee consisting of LCFF student representatives (low-income, ELL, foster youth) from all the Oakland high schools.
- To distribute a student survey at each school site, that informs students about the Local Control Accountability Plan and gains input on students’ funding priorities.
- To create a student and community accessible district budget that clearly shows what LCFF funds are being directed to what state priorities.
CFJ student leaders are also working with other organizations to make this a reality and to improve the quality of education in Oakland. This includes our district wide coalition, Meaningful Student Engagement Collaborative, which partners with Oakland youth serving organizations to develop strategies to ensure a critical mass of youth be informed, provide input, and be meaningfully engaged in leadership and decision-making opportunities. The Meaningful Student Engagement Collaborative works to transform OUSD student leadership into a more representative and effective body. Follow us on Facebook to get recent updates!