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Parents and Stakeholders Claim LBUSD Violates State Law, Depriving High Needs Students Some $40 Million in Services for the 2016-17 School Year

Long Beach, CA – The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is violating state law by misallocating more than $40 million of state education funding that is specifically designed to increase or improve services for low-income students, English language learners and foster youth, according to an administrative complaint filed today by Public Advocates, Inc. on behalf of Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA), Latinos in Action and parents of low-income and English learner students. The complaint asserts that LBUSD is not meeting the promise of equity in the new school funding law known as Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by failing to increase and improve services for the high-need students who generate additional funds for the district called "supplemental and concentration" grants. Instead, the district has approved allocations for everyday basic instructional services that do not specially address the neediest populations, including [...]

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Statement from Children’s Defense Fund–California on the American Health Care Act Vote

In response to the health care bill being pulled from the House floor today, Alison Buist, National Child Health Director for Children's Defense Fund–California, issued this statement: "We are relieved that the truly terrible Republican health repeal bill was pulled from the House floor today, preserving health coverage for 37 million children in America, including more than 5 million in California alone. We celebrate this victory today but we will remain vigilant and continue to fight against any proposed changes that would jeopardize the health of America's children. Today, 97 percent of children in California have health coverage; we have come too far to turn back." Media Contact Cadonna Dory o: (213) 355-8790 // c: (323) 385-6342 ### Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) is a state office of the Children's Defense Fund, a [...]

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Report Highlights New Approach for Treating Incarcerated Youth

Children's Defense Fund – California is excited to announce the release of A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model, a new approach for treating youth who are incarcerated, published in partnership with The California Wellness Foundation. This report, written by Hailly T.N. Korman (Bellwether Education Partners) and Carly B. Dierkhising (California State University – Los Angeles) captures nearly two years of thought, and collaboration by more than 100 stakeholders to articulate a shared vision of a new model of juvenile justice in Los Angeles, known as the LA Model. "This report records a collective effort to imagine therapeutic, holistic​​ treatment of youth during incarceration, recognizing that ultimately incarceration must be a last resort and for the short time possible," said Patricia Soung, interim executive director of Children's Defense Fund – California. The LA Model has ten essential [...]

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A Repeal of ACA Will Harm Children and Families in Unprecedented Ways

Urban Institute report shows ACA repeal would increase ranks of California uninsured by nearly 5 millionLOS ANGELES, CA – The Urban Institute released a new report that looks at the implications of a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and makes clear what is at stake for California children and families. If Congress moves forward with its intent to repeal the ACA without an immediate, responsible, and sustainable replacement, the number of uninsured children would more than double, from 4% to 9% nationwide, and the health of millions of Americans would be in jeopardy.Congressional leaders have announced that their first order of business in the new Congress is to pass a reconciliation bill modeled after the 2015 reconciliation bill that repeals the ACA without a replacement plan. In California, Congress' inability to negotiate an agreement on a replacement of [...]

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Children’s Defense Fund – California and Public Counsel Release Report on Racial Justice and Educational Equity in Long Beach Schools

Long Beach, CA – Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) and Public Counsel released a report Tuesday about educational equity and racial justice in Long Beach schools. The report, [Untold Stories Behind One of America's Best Urban School Districts][4], is a bold vision for Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to build and foster positive learning environments for all students. "The report combines a deep analysis of data and policies with the lived experiences of LBUSD students and community stakeholders who have long been advocating for higher commitment and investment in social emotional supports," said Angelica Salazar, senior policy associate for CDF-CA and coauthor of the report. "A deep look at the district's data found the racial disparity of suspensions issued to White and Black students continues to increase, while the written policies are primarily punitive, and community keeps asking for more [...]

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New U.S. Census State and Local Data on Poverty Underscores Need for Bold Action to Reduce Child Poverty in California

U.S. Census Bureau data released today reveal that 1.9 million California children (21.2%) lived in poverty in 2015, down slightly since 2014, when 2.05 million California children (22.7%) were poor. Children remain the poorest age group, and research confirms that poverty is especially devastating for children. Children of color continue to be disproportionately poor: 28.5% (1,328,619) of Latino children, 31.0% (150,457) of Black children, 11.4% (115,846) of Asian children and 33.2% (23,300) of American Indian/Alaska Native children were poor in 2015, compared to 10.3% (240,953) of White children. A striking number of California children live in extreme poverty, defined as less than half the poverty level, putting them at severe risk of homelessness, trauma, and hunger. In 2015, 795,846 California children (8.9%) lived in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $33 a day for a family of four. "Child poverty [...]

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Statement from Alex Johnson of Children’s Defense Fund-California on Governor’s May Revise Budget Proposal

In response to Governor Brown's May Revise budget proposal released today, Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-California, issued this statement: "We were pleased to see that the Governor's May Revise proposes $2 million for the Franchise Tax Board to support additional outreach and marketing to ensure California's new state Earned Income Tax Credit reaching more eligible poor, working families. We look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to ensure those outreach resources are targeted effectively, including support for community-based organizations and free tax preparation services. However, the Governor's May Revise fails to include investments in critical programs for children and families and consequently ignores the reality that the state continues to have the highest poverty rate in the nation, with 1 in 4 California children living in poverty. During the recession, Governor Brown and the California [...]

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State Legislators Join Children’s Defense Fund–California (CDF-CA) In Calling for Action to Level the Playing Field for California’s Children

CDF-CA's 2016 Policy Agenda Provides Roadmap for Policymakers to Ensure All Children Have the Opportunity to Thrive  Sacramento, CA – Joined by state legislative champions for children, Children's Defense Fund – California (CDF-CA) released a 2016 policy agenda that provides a roadmap of policy changes to end child poverty, ensure educational equity, provide access to health care, and transform justice systems for youth. "Too many children in California – especially poor children, children of color, and children with special needs – face odds stacked against their success," CDF-CA Executive Director Alex Johnson said. "We must come together to fight for policies that lift children out of poverty, connect families to quality health care, ensure fairness and equity in our schools and build a juvenile justice system that focuses on prevention and rehabilitation." The policy agenda reflects CDF-CA's whole child approach – [...]

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Statement from Alex Johnson, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund-California, on LAUSD’s new superintendent

In response to the selection of Michelle King to lead Los Angeles Unified School District, Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-California, issued this statement: "We congratulate Michelle King on her appointment as the new superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and as the first African American woman to lead the nation's second largest district. As a leader who has worked her way up the ranks at LAUSD, Superintendent King understands the district, its challenges and the needs of the more than 600,000 students who call LAUSD home. While LAUSD has made some important progress over the last several years – more students are testing at proficient or advanced in the core subjects on standardized tests, and high school dropout, suspension and expulsion rates are declining – much more work is needed to ensure success for LAUSD's [...]

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Governor’s Budget Must Do More to Address the Needs of the Whole Child

Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-California, released the following statement in response to Governor Jerry Brown's 2016-17 budget proposal:"With California's fiscal health improving, now is the time to invest in the health and well-being of California's children and rebuild our tattered social safety net. Unfortunately, the Governor's proposed budget falls short of providing the resources necessary to end child poverty in California and fully support crucial programs for our most vulnerable children and families.The historic investment in K-12 education is a critical step, but we also need a budget that addresses the root causes of educational gaps. Quality health care, child care and early education are important family supports needed for children to survive and flourish. If we want our investments in California's public schools to be successful, we need to be making investments to ensure that our children [...]

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