Education Highlights from Governor Newsom’s State of the State

Governor Newsom delivered his first State of the State speech on Tuesday morning. Newsom received an overwhelming amount of support from local politicians, among them the House Minority Leader and the Mayor of Sacramento. They praised Newsom for not only his desire, but his actionable leadership, as well as for not being “overly cautious,” as detailed in the Sacramento Bee.

Governor Newsom made several key announcements regarding the state of our schools and education in California. He stressed that “understaffed schools, overcrowded classrooms, pension pressures, the achievement gap, and charter school growth” were points of stress for the state of California. He also pointed out that these stressors are being experienced statewide, from LA, to Fresno, to Sacramento and even in Oakland and the Bay Area. It is clear that politicians understand the severity of education politics within the state in our current time.

Newsom added that “Districts across the state are challenged to balance budgets even in this strong economy, and at a time when we’re spending more on schools than ever before.”  The Governor acknowledged that this was not enough to increase positive academic outcomes for the students of our state and expressed his desire to invest more than $80 million into education next year with the support of constituents. A large portion of this portion would go towards supporting special education.

Governor Newsom concluded his comments around education and schools by expressing the need for a new president for the State Board of Education and went on to appoint Dr. Linda Darling Hammond for the role. Darling Hammond is professor emeritus at Stanford University, and her research within education has been greatly referenced amongst education scholars and programs throughout the country. Darling Hammond’s work focuses on teaching and learning, and having this perspective on the State Board will support our state in building on programs for leading a diverse student body across the state into 21st century learning. As an educator, I am looking forward to this change in leadership that will hopefully move the conversation toward the learning taking place inside classrooms across our state.

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Daniela Felix

Daniela Felix

Daniela is a first generation college student who is heavily involved in education in her home district, West Contra Costa Unified. After becoming a mother at a young age, Daniela’s passion for education justice only intensified and she began to fight for an equitable education for all children, regardless of background or zip code. Daniela played a key role in organizing parents with the California Charter Schools Association and is a firm believer in school choice for all families. She is currently a Lead Organizer with Students for Education Reform, organizing college students around education justice issues in her home district. She was recently accepted into Teach for America and plans to continue impacting the lives of children in her hometown of Richmond, CA as a high school social studies teacher. Daniela is a UC Berkeley senior pursuing her B.A. in Legal Studies and Education along with her 4 year old daughter and husband. Daniela is a firm believer in that every single child is capable of meeting high expectations if given the correct support. Daniela hopes to be a provider of that support.

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