Coalition Story & Timeline
Equity Definition = The elimination of poverty through equitable educational opportunities.
We’re working toward the transformational not the transactional. We are working to design a public education system that works for all our kids.
When communities throughout California organized to pass LCFF in 2013-14, we anticipated a good amount of money would go to LAUSD and therefore into our concentration of high needs schools. We expected the district to move equity dollars to those who need it the most, low-income students of color. But there was no mandate at the local level.
Los Angeles has a broken track record keeping parents of color are engaged and so schools in South LA and the Eastside got the short end of the stick, again.
Advancement Project California, Community Coalition and InnerCity Struggle saw an opportunity to codify LCFF at the local level. We knew we needed the data to illuminate the areas of highest need.
The focus is on restorative justice and English learners, and on our black and brown youth.
Today, we have parents and students continuing their fight to demand a culture of equity. We believe what we’re producing in Los Angeles today may become a model for other California county school districts. We have an opportunity to marry organizing and real data to shift massive dollars.
Because what is at stake is nothing less than our public education system. We have come together to fix decades long divestment. We have come to stop the utility of schools as a criminalization machine.
We are working to ensure there are real career pathways for our kids. And that we are preparing them for the realities of today and the future economy.
We ask that public education advocates must come together for the sake of our kids, and that is why we are doing this important work.
- 1970’s: The population of people of color doubles in California. Proposition 13 passes, leading to devastating disinvestment in public education that moves CA from #1 in per pupil spending to #47 in 2018.
- 2005: Students and parents campaigned and won A-G as a mandatory requirement for graduation
- 2008: The Great Recession hits throughout the country, leading to heavy budget cuts at LAUSD.
- 2012: Communities throughout California organize to pass Proposition 30 to prevent $6 billion in cuts to education
- 2013: After a decade of communities organizing for equity at the state level, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was enacted to restore funding to pre-recession levels by 2020-2021 in an equitable way. Governor Brown charges that, “equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice” regarding LCFF. This win created anticipation that significant funds would go to LAUSD.
- 2014: Community Coalition, InnerCity Struggle and the Advancement Project California lead the organizing efforts that passes the Equity Is Justice resolution in LAUSD. This historic resolution took LCFF further in defining need.
- 2015: LAUSD reaffirmed their commitment the A-G resolution.
- 2015: LAUSD implements a watered-down Student Equity Need Index (SENI). This results in hundreds of millions of dollars in funding taken from high need schools. Additionally, Community Coalition sues LAUSD for misappropriating $450 million meant for high need students and diverting those funds to special education.
- 2016: Advancement Project California provided the data analysis and formulated a new index and indicators. The LA Equity Alliance engaged the district in new talks for SENI 2.0.
- 2017: SENI 2.0 is produced and negotiations begins. InnerCity Struggle and Community Coalition produced town halls and collected community input to create a unified alignment. UC Berkeley and UCLA assisted with a literature review. Superintendent Michelle King saw an opportunity for reform and pushed for equity.
- 2017: LAUSD settles with Community Coalition. Over $150 million is allocated to the 50 highest need schools in the district.
- 2018: SENI 2.0 negotiations continue with LAUSD. Implementation plans and a public announcement are forthcoming. Resolution introduced by Board President Monica Garcia titled ‘Equity is Justice 2.0: Moving Toward a New Direction.’
Contact Katie Smith