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Building Power

We fundamentally believe that community stakeholders possess the knowledge, agency and power to move a social justice policy agenda. We encourage systems to shift how they view community to an assets-based approach and to create space for community members to be integrated in creating policy change.

Above all, we advocate for a community-center approach to policymaking that builds on the cultural, social and linguistic strengths of our diverse state.

Funding Racial Justice

The Funding Racial Justice program brings together passionate California-based racial justice advocates who are invested in their city and or county budget process and want to see local governments shift funding to support services aligned with racial justice principles.

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Local Control Funding Formula Analysis

In communities from South Los Angeles, to the Central Valley, we’re supporting parents and advocates across the state who are trying ensure that the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), a new funding system for schools which gives additional dollars to districts based on their number of high-need students, actually leads to better results. Statewide, we’ve partnered with parent and community groups to support campaigns that improve services for English learners, adopt restorative approaches to school discipline instead of school policing and suppression, and create parent and family engagement programs that make everyone welcomed. We’ve helped our partners move equity-based dollars towards community priorities, and helped bring more transparency and accountability to districts’ budgeting practices, while building the capacity of our partners to advocate on budget matters.

Central California

We’ve partnered with community organizations in Fresno, Merced, Coachella, Kern County, and Del Norte to build their capacity to engage in school-district budget advocacy. Our work supports community organizations’ efforts to increase investment of Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dollars in priorities like parent engagement programs, restorative justice initiatives, and programs serving English learners.

Our support consists of conducting trainings and producing analyses of annual budgets, school-site investments, and LCFF spending plans.

All this work arms our partners for budget negotiations in May and June of every year to ensure increased investment in the most disadvantaged students and campuses, and further progress in fiscal transparency.

Los Angeles

Students at different school sites within LA Unified School District (LAUSD) confront dramatically different community conditions and levels of need, but too often, resources don’t flow to where they’re needed most.  In support of Catalyst California’s larger Equity is Justice campaign, and in partnership with Community Coalition and Inner City Struggle, we’re working to understand how money is allocated within the District, and advocating for equitable allocation that would prioritize students at high-need schools in places like South LA and the East Side.