Connect with us

Education

Gov. Newsom Signs 46 Bills, Part of $123.9 Billion Education Plan 

During the final week before the October 10 deadline for signing bills passed by the state Legislature this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 46 bills supporting public school and college education.  Under his California Comeback Plan, the state budget invests more than ever before in public schools and colleges. 

Published

on

E-learning online education or internet encyclopedia concept. Open laptop and book compilation in a classroom. 3d illustration/ iStock

During the final week before the October 10 deadline for signing bills passed by the state Legislature this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 46 bills supporting public school and college education.  Under his California Comeback Plan, the state budget invests more than ever before in public schools and colleges.

The full plan will cost $123.9 billion.

Newsom turned signing some of the bills into public events. On October 5, he was joined by members of the Legislature and local officials in Fresno for a bill-signing ceremony that celebrated the state’s master plan for early education. The next day, at California State University, Northridge, he led a celebration of the master plan for higher education as he signed a number of bills.

At Sunset elementary school in Fresno, Newsom highlighted the California Comeback Plan’s Pre-K and K-12 education package that includes a framework to achieve universal transitional kindergarten by 2025. The plan reduces class sizes, cutting adult-to-child ratios down from 1 adult for every 24 children to an average of 1 adult for every 12 children.

The plan also invests $1.9 billion to seed college savings accounts beginning in first grade of up to $1,500 for 3.7 million current low-income students, English learners and foster and homeless youth.

“In California, we are committed to transforming our public schools to promote equity, inclusivity and opportunity for every student,” Newsom said before the bill signing commenced.

Among the officials joining Newsom at the Fresno elementary school were Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.

“We know from research and from experience that the early years are critical to support a child’s learning and development. Universal Pre-K is California’s opportunity to ensure every child, regardless of background, race, zip code, immigration status or income level, gets the fair start they need and deserve on their path to success,” said Thurmond.

“I’m here to claim that this governor is the best governor in the history of California for early education,” McCarty told a crowded school library of spectators. “We are launching the largest Pre-K for all program through universal transitional kindergarten in the nation. Thank you, Governor Newsom for your unwavering commitment to our youngest learners.”

At Cal State Northridge, the bills that Newsom signed are designed to increase access to higher education for in-state students who would like to attend a school in the California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) system, create more affordable student housing, particularly for those attending community college, and expand financial aid.

Standing in a gym in front of students, cheerleaders, administrators and state officials, Newsom highlighted his higher education funding plan. According to him, it is the most funding for higher education in California history. The budget has a total funding of $47.1 billion for all higher education entities in 2021-22.

“Californians have thrived at our world class universities for decades, but not everyone has had similar access – today that’s changing. Everyone deserves a shot at the ‘California Dream’ – we’re eliminating equity gaps and increasing opportunities at our universities to make those dreams a reality for more California students,” Newsom said.

McCarty, who was with the governor the day before in Fresno said, “I do want to say that this year was the best year in the history of California, investing in higher education, our UC and CSU and community college system. So, with our governor’s leadership and the Legislature, we were able to pass a budget that fully funds the CSU budget request.” 

He went on to say to applause, “You know what, we’re going to fund an additional 9,000 slots for your little sisters and brothers and cousins to go to CSU.”

On October 8, Newsom completed his education bill signing marathon by signing 22 more bills providing K-12 student mental and behavioral health supports in schools, expanding access to broadband across the state — particularly for those in underserved communities — and providing educational support for students to help boost academic achievement.

Among the bills Newsom signed was AB 101, which was introduced by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside). It requires school districts and charter schools serving students in grades 9-12 to offer at least a one semester course in ethnic studies, beginning with the 2025-26 school year. It also requires students, beginning with the graduating class of 2029-30, to complete a one semester course in ethnic studies that meets specified requirements in order to receive a high school diploma.

In his signing statement, Newsom wrote, “Ethnic studies courses enable students to learn their own stories, and those of their classmates, and a number of studies have shown that these courses boost student achievement over the long run – especially among students of color.”

While ethnic studies is already being offered in many large school districts like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno and San Diego Unified, the subject has attracted controversy statewide. The Los Angeles Times opposes the bill, citing that it allows school districts too much flexibility to design their own curricula in conflict with the state’s approved model curriculum. 

Newsom noted in his signing statement, “The legislation provides a number of guardrails to ensure that courses will be free from bias or bigotry and appropriate for all students.”

“At a time when some states are retreating from an accurate discussion of our history, I am proud that California continues to lead in its teaching of ethnic studies,” said Secretary of State Shirley Weber who authored AB 1460, which Newsom signed last year creating an ethnic studies requirement for all CSU colleges for graduation.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Activism

City Receives $3 Million Grant to Advance Violence Prevention Among School-Age Youth

Although the Department of Violence Prevention works to advance community outreach with life coaching, gender-based violence services, violence interruption, and community healing, this funding is focused on the family systems model, targeted specifically at Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) schools for school-site violence intervention and prevention teams.

Published

on

Guillermo Cespedes is the head of Oakland’s Dept. of Violence Prevention.
Guillermo Cespedes is the head of Oakland’s Dept. of Violence Prevention.

By Post Staff

The City of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) has received a $3 million, three-year grant to support its violence interruption efforts.

In partnership with the Oakland Public Fund for Innovation, the Gilead Foundation awarded the grant to invest in health equity strategy, including a focus on prevention and intervention services to school-age youth, disrupting the pattern of violence.

“The Gilead Foundation is proud to support the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation and the City of Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention,” said Kate Wilson, executive director of Gilead Foundation.

Chief of Violence Prevention with the City of Oakland Guillermo Cespedes said the grant will allow “DVP to strengthen families and protect its members from becoming involved in lifestyles associated with violence, while increasing educational outcomes and lifelong learning skills.”

Although the Department of Violence Prevention works to advance community outreach with life coaching, gender-based violence services, violence interruption, and community healing, this funding is focused on the family systems model, targeted specifically at Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) schools for school-site violence intervention and prevention teams.

Students who are routinely exposed to violence at home or in the community often experience toxic stress that leads to cognitive impairment, hyperactivity, and attention deficits that make it challenging to succeed in the classroom.

Exposure to violence also contributes to lower school attendance and a higher likelihood of suspension, which further promotes disengagement from school.

Using a public health approach, the DVP will strengthen family, school, and community contexts for OUSD school students living in neighborhoods with high rates of violence, to reduce their exposure to violence and increase their chances of succeeding academically.

Continue Reading

Activism

Oakland Promise and Kaiser Support Promising Student

Kaiser Permanente gave a significant grant to Oakland Promise, helping it reach a $50 million goal for its Generation Fund, which will offer college savings accounts and scholarships to all low-income Oakland public school students while they’re pursuing college degrees or trade certificates.

Published

on

Kaiser Permanente partners with Oakland Promise to cultivate mentor program, scholarships, academic guidance. Pictured, Kaiser Permanente mentor Ingrid Chen, MD, at right, with Sandy La, who begins her second year of college this fall.
Kaiser Permanente partners with Oakland Promise to cultivate mentor program, scholarships, academic guidance. Pictured, Kaiser Permanente mentor Ingrid Chen, MD, at right, with Sandy La, who begins her second year of college this fall.

By Carla Thomas

When Sandy La applied to two programs while a senior at Oakland High, she had no idea the Oakland Promise program would truly reward her for being a promising student on the rise. Now a successful student at UC San Diego majoring in Public Health, La has spent over 12 months mentored by Kaiser Permanente Oakland psychiatry resident Ingrid Chen. For Chen, mentoring a student and just being there for her was key.

Kaiser Permanente gave a significant grant to Oakland Promise, helping it reach a $50 million goal for its Generation Fund, which will offer college savings accounts and scholarships to all low-income Oakland public school students while they’re pursuing college degrees or trade certificates.

“The program is very well organized, and very accessible for busy working people,” said Dr. Chen. Kaiser Permanente is partnered with Oakland Promise to cultivate mentor programs, scholarships and academic guidance.

La was one of the lucky few of 300 to 400 Oakland high school students who received college scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $16,000 each year from Oakland Promise, and Dr. Chen is one of the 34 mentors from Kaiser Permanente who help keep them in college, often forming long lasting friendships.

“When I first moved to Oakland in 2020 to start my residency, the social justice movements spotlighting racial inequality in our society inspired me to help the community,” said Dr. Chen. “My parents are first generation Taiwanese immigrants, so I have a heart for immigrant families and other groups that are often marginalized in society.”

Dr. Chen makes herself available to La and one other student to talk about anything and help them identify opportunities in college and beyond.

“It’s been great to have someone to talk to and support me,” said La, who says the extra support really matters.

Dr. Chen says it has been great getting to know La and supporting her. La says the support has been a great confidence booster and she now pays it forward while counseling incoming freshmen. “I’m majoring in public health because I want to make a difference in health care and solve some of the disparities in the field,” said La.

Kaiser Permanente is also a founding sponsor of Oakland Promise, said Yvette Radford, Kaiser Permanente Northern California vice president of External and Community Affairs. “Oakland Promise is creating brighter futures for children and families by supporting children at every stage in their lives, from the day they’re born to the day they graduate from college,” said Radford. “This innovative public-private partnership is helping Oakland’s children become more successful in school and in life.”

Continue Reading

Activism

Meet the Woman Who Spearheaded Equity, Inclusion in the Business World

Among many things, Mason Tillman Associates conducts disparity studies that show how equitably or inequitably governments distribute contracts to outside businesses. “We have been able to improve the lives of many minority and woman business owners,” said Eleanor Ramsey, president and CEO of the firm Mason Tillman Associates, adding that the work has been helping them secure contracts and improve profitability.

Published

on

Eleanor Ramsey, president and CEO of Mason Tillman Associates, a consulting firm that shines the light on unfair practices in government contracting nationwide. (Pat Mazzera/Mason Tillman Associates via Bay City News)
Eleanor Ramsey, president and CEO of Mason Tillman Associates, a consulting firm that shines the light on unfair practices in government contracting nationwide. (Pat Mazzera/Mason Tillman Associates via Bay City News)

By Keith Burbank, Bay City News

Eleanor Ramsey, president and CEO of the firm Mason Tillman Associates, has been creating change for Black people and other minorities long before she started consulting.

In an interview last Wednesday at her office in downtown Oakland, Ramsey said she first worked on easing racial conflict by serving on the student relations council in high school. The goal was to integrate the lunchroom in a school that consisted of 80% white students and 20% Black students.

Ramsey went on to get a doctorate in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and has been operating Mason Tillman Associates since starting it in 1978. Her firm’s name is a combination of Ramsey’s maiden name, Mason, and Tillman, a last name by which her husband was known.

Among many things, Mason Tillman Associates conducts disparity studies that show how equitably or inequitably governments distribute contracts to outside businesses.

“We have been able to improve the lives of many minority and woman business owners,” Ramsey said, adding that the work has been helping them secure contracts and improve profitability.

Mason Tillman Associates’ statistical research has revealed institutional practices systemically limiting minority businesses’ access to public contracts.

The company’s disparity study research and policy recommendations have helped identify and modify governments’ practices. Consequently, billions of dollars have been distributed more fairly in over 150 cities, counties, and states since 1978, she said. For example, New York State’s current minority business law is predicated on a Mason Tillman disparity study.

Oakland officials were at first reluctant to release a disparity study for their city, causing an outcry from the Black community. The study — kicked off by Ramsey’s firm — was eventually released in November 2020. Mason Tillman Associates plans to update it following a year of talks.

The company is also credited with preparing the nation’s first competitive disparity study, which was done for Maricopa County, Arizona, in 1990.

Disparity studies aren’t just the right thing to do, they’re the law. Following a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson, disparity studies must be prepared to document the need for awarding contracts to minorities. Lawmakers can no longer give preference to minorities without evidence from a study.

Ramsey suspects 300 to 400 studies have been conducted since the SCOTUS decision.

She has also been at the forefront of breaking through ceilings for businesswomen.

“The notion of the glass ceiling was very real,” she said, adding that for Black women, the ceiling was made of “concrete.”

Starting Mason Tillman Associates gave her an occupation when doors were closed for Black women following her attempt to become a university professor, she said.

“You walked a fine line,” said Ramsey.

Women could not come off as too intelligent without offending men. She refined the art of levity to make people feel comfortable.

Before Mason Tillman Associates, Ramsey worked as a flight attendant for the now-defunct yet iconic Pan American Airways. She was the second Black female flight attendant to be hired by Pan Am, which was the only international carrier in the U.S. in the 1960s. Pan Am was known for its stewardesses — now called flight attendants, another positive change for women in the workforce.

Ramsey managed to earn her doctorate in 1977 while raising six children. Then she applied for jobs as a professor and neither UC Berkeley nor the University of Colorado Boulder would hire her. Society wasn’t ready for a Black female professor, she said.

Her experience has taken her on some interesting journeys. While living in Boulder, she secured a contract with the National Park Service to investigate whether Wilberforce, Ohio, was once part of the underground railroad. That, she said, was the start of her consulting business.

Since starting Mason Tillman Associates 44 years ago, Ramsey has trained many professionals in the company’s Oakland headquarters. The firm continues to help redefine managers’ views of Black businesses in agencies nationwide.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending