Funding for LCFF Community Engagement Initiative: A Win for Grassroots Groups Across the State

Categories: racial justice,Statewide

Today, Governor Brown signed the 2018-2019 California state budget, including $28.3 million set aside to strengthen Local Control Funding Formula community engagement of students and parents in districts across the state! This is a direct victory for grassroots communities and Black, Brown, Asian and Pacific Islander folks across the state.

The budget win is a result of ongoing advocacy and lobbying efforts from the Defend and Mend Coalition, anchored by Californians for Justice and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. What makes this win so significant for our highest needs communities across the state is that the campaign was truly led by the communities, in partnership with legislators, the Department of Finance, California Department of Education, and State Board of Education.

The Defend and Mend Coalition applauds these partnerships and we look to this process and victory as an example of exactly the type of way we want to continue to work in close partnership as we continue to roll out the Local Control Funding Formula.

Here is how the $28.3 million is broken down:

  • $13.3 million for the Community Engagement Initiative, which focuses on building capacity and models of effective community engagement. As part of the Initiative, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence will engage teams that represent different regions of the state and include community members, students, school site representatives, district officials, and county staff and leadership.
  • $15 million for Improving School Climate, which focuses on efforts through the Multi-Tiered System of Support to expand resources to foster a positive school climate in both academic and behavioral areas, including positive behavior interventions and support, restorative justice, bullying prevention, social and emotional learning, trauma-informed practice, and cultural competency.

Working closely with legislative partners was critical to our success and we want to applaud our partnership with legislators including Assembly Members Kevin McCarty and Ash Kalra and Senator Holly Mitchell. We also want to uplift our work with the Department of Finance, California Department of Education and State Board of Education folks and thank them for their guidance, support and willingness to truly listen and take into account the experiences of parents and youth across the state.

The last key to our success were our Sacramento day of actions including our May 17th mobilization, where over 100 folks from Defend and Mend showed up from across the state on the anniversary of Brown v. Board to highlight the ongoing separate but unequal California Education system and present our solutions to bridge the gap.

Listening and taking the lived experiences of folks working directly on the ground into the LCAP implementation in our communities paves the way for the meaningful and successful implementation of LCFF across the state. We know that only when those who the LCFF was intended to serve are at the table and encouraged to help shape the plan, we will succeed in implementing the LCFF in the truly equitable way it was envisioned.

About the Coalition:

The Defend and Mend Coalition is comprised of over 15 grassroots organizations across the state working on the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Coalition members are firmly committed and invested to seeing the promises of the equity formula through successfully. The Coalition is comprised of organizations which have worked on building awareness for adequate school funding and its equitable allocation for over 13 years. The Coalition advocated to pass LCFF and Prop 30 and has been working to implement it well at the state and local levels.

Defend and Mend Coalition:

  1. California Youth Connection (Statewide)
  2. Sacramento ACT (Sacramento) – PICO
  3. Coleman Advocates (San Francisco)
  4. RYSE Center (Richmond)
  5. Bay Area PLAN (Oakland)
  6. Oakland Community Organization (Oakland) – PICO
  7. Somos Mayfair (San Jose)
  8. People Acting in Community Together (San Jose) – PICO
  9. Faith in the Valley/RISE Merced (Central Valley) -PICO
  10. Fathers and Families of San Joaquin (Central Valley)
  11. Families in Schools (Los Angeles)
  12. InnerCity Struggle (Los Angeles)
  13. Khmer Girls in Action (Long Beach)
  14. Inland Congregations United for Change (Inland Empire) – PICO
  15. Orange County Congregation Community Organization (Orange County) – PICO
  16. Public Advocates