(Sacramento) – “The truth is that the opposition is funded by billionaires and these students don’t have paid lobbyists or organizations walking the halls. It’s politically easier for some of my colleagues to maintain the status quo at the continued expense of poor students,” stated Assemblymember Cristina Garcia.
Legislation ensuring California’s most vulnerable students are not used as guinea pigs was turned into a two year bill on the Assembly Floor and will be taken up in January 2020. AB 221 eliminate part of what contributes to a divided education system - the haves and the have nots. Specifically, it prohibits school districts and charter schools from entering into a contract with a third party organization to do any of the following:(1) To employ teachers who commit to teaching in the district for less than five years;(2) To employ teachers at a Title 1 school;(3) To pay a contract fee, recruitment fee or finder’s fee.
“All week my colleagues talked about how we need to do better for low-income students, especially those of color, but instead of a quality education all these students got was lip-service.
Some local school officials don’t want to lose an easy tool that prevents them from having to make tough decisions. The opposition sees this as a turf battle instead of prioritizing what’s best for our most vulnerable students. Some folks don’t want to admit that what makes them feel like a hero is basically just a poverty tour that does more harm than good.
Are we ok with creating two classes of students? Are we ok with saying that teachers with 18 hours of training and no classroom experience are good enough for our low income-students of color but not good enough for their counterparts in middle to upper class schools? I’m not okay with it.
I have the audacity to believe in the promise we make to all kids- to provide them with a quality education and remove the barriers that stand in the way of their potential, regardless of the zip code they were born into.
I was a Title 1 student, a Title 1 teacher for 13 years, and I represent an assembly district with mostly Title 1 schools, for me this is personal. With or without a well-funded lobby I will continue to advocate for our most vulnerable students because it’s just,” concluded Garcia.
The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.
CONTACT: Ashley Labar, (916) 319-2058, (925) 719-1298 (Cell)