Californians for Justice is proud to have our Strategy Director Saa’un P. Bell included on this list of 100 powerful Black Leaders in support of the Schools and Communities First initiative!
We know that to have a truly prosperous future for California, we must deeply invest in Black students and families.
The Schools &Communities First initiative is a once in a generation opportunity to help address structural inequities that have plagued communities throughout the state for decades.
Black communities have been hit the hardest by decades of disinvestment from schools and local services, all while corporations have exploited property tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share. By passing Schools and Communities First, we can reclaim $12 billion every year for our classrooms and neighborhoods.
In honor of Black History and Black Futures month, the 100+ Black Leaders for Schools & Communities First is comprised of some of the state’s most prominent and important Black figures, including educators, clergy, youth activists, small business entrepreneurs, non-profit directors, workplace leaders, philanthropists, and elected officials. Black futures depend on reclaiming the resources we all need to thrive, and to build a future for California that we can all be proud of.
On the list, 40 plus Black Education champions and leaders signaled their support – from California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, California Teacher Association President Toby E. Boyd, Education Trust West’s Executive Director, Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Senator Holly J. Mitchell, to Californians for Justice grassroots leader & Strategy Director, Saa’un Bell.
“The Black Leaders 100 list is an incredible display of intergenerational commitment to putting Schools and Communities First. For 40 plus years, Black communities and students have been cast in the shadows, outside of California’s sunlight of opportunity. My own school experience very much mirrors how devastating the continued underinvestment in schools and communities impact Black students today. To call on Corporations to pay their fair share will not only reclaim $12 billion every year, it will restore, resource, and revitalize California schools and communities to meet the needs of Black students and families.”
– Saa’un P. Bell, Californians for Justice Strategy Director
For the last half century, there has been a growing gap in expenditures between high- and low-spending school districts in California, and these differences in spending have hit Black communities hardest:
- The 3rd grade math proficiency rate for Black students is 30%, while the state average is 50%.
- When it comes to high school graduation rates, Black students average 70.8% compared to the California average of 82.3%.
Under Schools and Communities First, our public schools would see nearly $5 billion more each year — funding which would be distributed under the state’s equity-based funding formula that prioritizes low-income students, foster youth and English Learners.
“Right now, our schools and local communities face structural roadblocks to delivering on the promise of a world-class education and safe, healthy neighborhoods – corporations have avoided paying their fair share for years while school funding has fallen farther and farther behind. The Schools & Communities First initiative would reclaim $12 billion every year for our schools and local communities by closing corporate property tax loopholes.”
– Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
With $12 billion reinvested in our classrooms and neighborhoods each year, we can begin to see real change — like hiring more counselors and school nurses to support our students, opening new or expanded libraries in our communities, to pothole repair and safer crosswalk structures as we walk in our neighborhoods.
Their Support For The Initiative Black futures depend on re-investment in the resources we need to thrive. Schools and Communities First will help build a new legacy in California we can all be proud of.
Join Black leaders around the state in supporting the first-step towards building a brighter tomorrow for our communities — support Schools and Communities First. Share 100+ Powerful Black Leaders list for Schools and Communities First on Social Media:
The Black Leaders 100 list is an incredible display of intergenerational commitment 2 #SchoolsandCommunitiesFirst. 40+ years, Black communities have been casted in the shadows. SCF calls on Corporations to pay their fair share & invest in #Blackfutures. Stand with Black Leaders!
Black communities have been hit the hardest by decades of disinvestment from schools and local services, all while corporations have exploited property tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share. SCF gives calls on Corporations to pay their fair share & invest in #Blackfutures
By passing Schools and Communities First, we can reclaim $12 billion every year for our classrooms and neighborhoods. I Stand with Black leaders #SchoolsandCommunitiesFirst
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