Issues

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Equitable Education

According to the California Dashboard the students with the greatest challenges in our district are our youth that live in foster homes, children with disabilities, English learners, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and children without stable housing. 

  • Overall, only 53.8% of the students in Culver City are prepared to go to college
  • Among Culver City students graduating from high school in 2017, 59.8% completed college preparatory courses
  • In 2018-2019, 35.5 per 1,000 African American/Black students in Culver City were suspended from school compared to 10.2 per 1000 White students

Health and Wellness

Now more than ever it is important for schools to consider the health of children (social, emotional, and physical wellness). With the coronavirus pandemic and the present health disparities, people of color have been hit the hardest. According to an article in JAMA (June 2020), “the school closure will be very harmful toward the children who are the most vulnerable. Those students with economic barriers to food, printers, computers, high-speed internet.” It is clear that we need to invest in the health of our community and collectively change our behavior to halt the transmission of the virus. Our schools need funding for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), they need nurses, and they need clean bathrooms with soap.  Additionally, they need to become trauma-informed schools that prioritize safe environments for all. 

  • In 2015-2017, an estimated 14% of Culver City students in 9th grade  seriously considered attempting suicide
  • In 2015-2017, an estimated 33% of Culver City 11th graders had depression-related feelings 
  • In 2019, there were 1781 students for every FTE nurse serving Culver City schools
  • There are no social workers in our school district

Housing Stabilization

In Culver City, one in four renters has school-aged children and this means that tenant protections are important because we want to ensure our community has rent stabilization measures and these children can remain in our school district. We also need to think about our teachers and staff, every year we lose great teachers because of long commutes or rent increases. I understand first hand the importance of stabilizing housing and for this reason, I will support tenant protections, affordable housing, and collaborate with the city to bring innovative solutions. 

  • 96 Culver City students were recorded as being homeless at some point during the 2016 school year
  • 275,448 California students were recorded as being homeless at some point during the 2016 school year

Environment

In recent years, we’ve seen a terrifying increase in natural disasters. In California, the state has seen massive wildfires for three years in a row. The climate crisis has wreaked havoc across the world and in our communities. We must act urgently to protect our planet, our future, and the future of our children. 

CCUSD needs a plan for long-term resiliency in the face of the climate crisis. Not to do so would be financially and morally negligent. Other neighboring coastal school districts have created such plans. We can collaborate with neighboring communities (Santa Monica/Malibu and Manhattan Beach) by creating a coastal cities coalition. As a coalition, we will increase our purchasing power. Our plan should address climate change, education/engagement, energy efficiency, renewables, transportation, food/nutrition/wellness, and green building/operations. Funding an ongoing Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator position will be critical to the success of any plan. The coordinator will oversee and evaluate programs, coordinate efforts between schools and districts, and find and apply for outside funding. It is in our vital interest to engage in the deep implementation of environmental and sustainability policy and to update these policies in response to changing circumstances.

  • Create coastal cities coalition to implement sustainability plans
  • Pledge for our district to move over to 100% renewable energy and require Zero Net Energy for all new construction
  • Engage, educate, and inform the community about the sustainability efforts at the schools
  • Integrate sustainability and environmental justice into our curriculum