The Community Rights Campaign Opposes CA SB 1317
by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 30, 2010
We Reject this Attack on our Civil and Educational Rights!
Community Rights Campaign
This is an open letter written to the California Assembly Committee on Education to urge them to reject the further movement of this bill.
To the Honorable Members of the Senate Committee on Education:
The Community Rights "No to Pre-Prison" Campaign strongly opposes SB 1317. This bill will impose unnecessary and severely punitive consequences for families in the public school system. Already less than half of students graduate in the Los Angeles Unified School District ("LAUSD"), the largest school district in California, where punitive education policy is having a direct impact on drop out rates.
Educational inequities are having severe impacts on California's most vulnerable communities. English learners represent 30% of the state's overall dropouts. Close to one-third of LAUSD students are English learners and only 3% are proficient in English and Math. LAUSD is currently under investigation by the US Department of Education for civil rights violations in the provision of educational services for this population. Educational inequities continue to persist among Black and Latino communities including the disproportionate use of suspensions and expulsions that push students out of schools and result in higher drop out rates.3 The Department of Education civil rights investigation was recently expanded to include Black students.
In LAUSD over 90% of students are students of color and over 70% of the schools receive Title I funding. The proposed classification of "chronic truancy," that would allow the state to prosecute parents for a newly created misdemeanor crime under SB 1317 will disproportionately impact poor families of color in the public school system.
To continue reading our letter of opposition to SB 1317 addressed to the California Assembly Committee on Education please click here.