We are right in the middle of our 7-month campaign to ensure that students’ voices are heard, valued, and reflected in the district’s accountability and funding plans. CFJ and the Student Voice Coalition have asked the State Board of Education to define the student’s consultation by creating a formal process, giving the districts a menu of options, and updating the guiding questions.
During the month of May, youth from across the state held meetings with members of the local and state Board delegations to tell their stories and express how important the student’s voice is to their success.
May 8, 2014 More than 50 students and allies across California came together to demonstrate that the student’s voice through the materials of moving public testimonials and a “faceless students” demonstration within the State Board of Education, assembled from . The students wore numbered masks to show that they are not just a number or a statistic, they are students with meaningful voices!
Immediately after the action of the State Board of Education President Michael Kirst issued a response saying that “The Council is encouraged by the participation and commitment of students in the debates of the State Council and in decisions on how to spend the money from the local school, and give priority to the programs. “
Reactivated, we went to celebrate the local actions in 4 districts throughout the state, winning even the implementation of a Student Advisory Council in Oakland. Take a look at some of the local and statewide coverage of youth efforts:
EdSource – students want more participation in the
Waves Long Beach District accountability plan – Students Stage Silent Protest on funding concerns
Fresno Bee – Students and Teachers Rally in Fresno
Jalisa Sanders, youth leader from Long Beach who testified at her local School Board meeting, said “Teachers have the Teacher Union, parents have parent advisory boards, but we, students, have a limited voice almost nonexistent in the money that affects our future.We students want the most meaningful student engagement in LCFF and we want to continue working with the State School Board to provide best practices to ensure that students have a meaningful role in giving their opinion on the LCAP.”
Jalisa and his companions should not have to fight to be heard! Stay tuned for updates on all of our next action. We are mobilizing youth and parents from across the state to the State Board of Education July 10 meeting in Sacramento. This will be a critical moment in the Student Voice Campaign to show the members of the State Council that students need a formal process to participate in local budget decisions.
The student’s voice matters, and the moment is now!