Students for

Education Equity

GENup is leading the Students for Education Equity Coalition, a youth-led movement which includes student-led organizations and education stakeholders from 
across California, from prominent student board members to student-led educational advocacy organizations.

Purpose: 

The Students for Education Equity Coalition is dedicated to advocating for sufficient education funding during  the COVID-19 pandemic. Education is the most crucial institution supporting our students -- teachers and mentors have worked tirelessly to provide emotional support, as well as safe spaces for their students to learn and engage. Our students strongly believe in their right to education, and identify schools as the one bastion of society they remember from before. Yet, education funding is not being prioritized by the government right now. California is rapidly losing money, causing the education system to become severely underfunded. Roughly 300,000 jobs will be lost in the education sector alone, and school districts may have to end school as early as March or April next year because they cannot afford to remain open. California alone is projected to see a 10 percent cut in education (roughly 10 billion dollars) in the newly revised budget, which may lead to over 57,000 educator layoffs. Currently, schools that provide resources such as technological support will be relied upon by up to twice as many students, costing significantly more money, and making it all the more essential to fund these programs in order to protect a vulnerable and weakening education system. Stabilizing public school funding over the next few years will be critical to our futures and our wellbeing; and as students, we are taking on the mantle and leading the charge in ensuring full and equitable funding for all students and districts across California.

Our Asks to Congress:

In order to effectively prepare and support local schools, we are requesting Congress to explore the student-proposed solutions below, providing funding for the following programs:

 

  • $13 billion for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and $12 billion for Title I. 

  • Appropriate $350 billion over the next two fiscal years, 

    • Specifically, $175 billion in the next stimulus package, distributed according to Title 1 formulas.

  • $90 million for per-student payments (increased to $2,000 per qualifying student), and

  • $2 Billion for E-rate. 

  • $800 million to fund the Basic Support program 2020 and to reallocate federal property to support districts with non-taxable federal land. 

 

We also request that:

  • A sufficient portion of the State Stabilization Fund, allocated in the most recent Congressional HEROES Act and stimulus packages thereafter, is restricted and apportioned to education — specifically for Title 1 guidelines 

  • Congress, during negotiations with the Senate, actively advocate for the inclusion of such a clause to ensure money from the state stabilization fund directly benefits our education and our futures

Our Asks to the State of California

As for the California Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom, we are urging them to explore following solutions:

  • Enact a statewide utility surcharge to generate a new funding source to provide all California

       students with universal access to a device and internet at home.

  • Use funding in our State’s 16 billion dollar Budget Stabilization Account to cushion impacts on a newly revised state education budget.

  • Ensure student opinion, student input, student voice, and student perspective is heard and taken into consideration in the use of the $4.4 billion federal funds for summer school and reopening of school campuses. 

 

We also request that:

  • A state-student taskforce, consisting of chosen student-representatives from across California schools, is created to advise the governor on best uses on the allocations of the State Budget Stabilization Account as well as any additional State stabilization Funding or Stimulus Funding provided for by Congress 

  • When students return to school in Fall, administrators will need fiscal support in order to protect the health and safety of all California students. We request the use of funds not sourced from Proposition 98, to buy medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), thermometers, and other similar necessities in order to safely transition us students back to in-person learning.


Lastly, we request the inclusion of new fiscal and scheduling modifications through the 2023-24 school year:

  • Allow school districts to quantify average daily attendance (ADA) based on a rolling average from the past 2 or 3 years, instead of allocating funding attendance based on the 2019-20 school year alone, where the ADA was significantly affected by the onset of school closures and new adaptive measures to online learning.

  • Provide school districts the ability to still receive money through school funding formulas for absences related to COVID-19, as many students will still not feel comfortable with attending school in-person  in fear of transmission.

  • Allow students the option of resuming remote, independent studies after the official reopening of schools.

  • Revise the maximum and minimum limits on class sizes to ensure students, administrators, staff, school personnel, and educators alike can adequately social distance on campus and in school classrooms.

  • Delay the implementation of new curriculum and/or material until the 2022-23 school year so as not to overwhelm educators in these unique and daunting times.

  • Ensure school districts have the flexibility to adapt revised school year instructional calendars without penalty, whether that be shortening or lengthening school years; thus done in an effort to create best instructional practices in unique times of learning.

Get Involved:

If your organization would like to join or endorse our coalition, fill out the following form:
If you are an individual and want to support our cause, sign these petitions:

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GenUp

is a California-based, statewide student-led social justice organization and student activist coalition that strives to advocate for education through the power of youth voices

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