Parents Driving Change at the State
To date, nearly 150 West Contra Costa parents have taken part in our Family Leaders Program (FLP). Over ten weeks in FLP, parents learn to harness their innate power by developing skills and strategies to support their advocacy efforts. To stay connected to our campaign work and to continue their leadership development, many of our FLP graduates become members of our Family Leaders Action Group (FLAG). With 12 core members-and growing-FLAG leaders shape, inform, and drive our initiatives locally, and at the state level.
For many of our FLAG leaders, the road to Sacramento is becoming all too familiar. During our inaugural trip to the State Capitol, our parents voiced their disappointment with the California School Dashboard, specifically its poor translation and confusing interface. As the tool was developed to offer parents critical information about the schools in our communities, our family leaders were empowered to speak out against a consistent barrier they encounter in regards to school and district data:
“Too frequently, families of English Learners and low-income students are overlooked and excluded from key decisions. We are some of the most important audiences for what could and should be a very powerfultool for families across California,” shared Erika Cruces, a FLAG leader.
We celebrated when we learned the next iteration of the California School Dashboard addressed our concerns.
During our most recent trip to Sacramento, our family leaders shared their support for Assembly Bill 1617 and Governor Newsom’s proposed $10 million investment in the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) with several policymakers. While AB 1617 remains parked until the next legislative session, we learned that California is moving forward with a Cradle to Career Data System, and will convene a working group to inform its development.
While our parent leaders are eager to take their learnings and advocacy to decision-makers at the state level, we know there is more work to be done at home. In partnership with educators and community allies, our family leaders and staff remain committed to improving outcomes for young people in West Contra Costa.