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New Report: U.S. Can Lift 5.5. Million Children Out of Poverty Right Now

America can immediately lift millions of children out of poverty and reduce child poverty by 57 percent by making modest investments in policies that work, according to a new report released today by the Children’s Defense Fund. Ending Child Poverty Now, the second edition of a groundbreaking report first released in 2015, details the devastating impacts of poverty on children and our nation. It outlines nine policy improvements that, enacted together, would benefit 95 percent of all poor children, lifting 5.5 million of them out of poverty entirely. In California, home to 1.6 million poor children, the child poverty rate was reduced by 65%.

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Parents, Community Groups and LBUSD Reach Agreement to Increase Funding for High-Need Students

LONG BEACH - Parents and community groups have reached an agreement with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to provide improved services for low-income students, English language learners, and foster youth. The settlement agreement resolves administrative complaints filed in 2017 against LBUSD and the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) by Public Advocates, Inc. and pro bono counsel Morgan, Lewis & Bockius on behalf of complainants Marina Román Sanchez, Guadalupe Luna, Children’s Defense Fund-California, and Latinos In Action. The complaints have been pending on appeal before the California Department of Education. The complaint against LBUSD challenged the district’s spending plan under California’s Local Control Funding Formula law (LCFF) in its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The LCFF was adopted by the state in 2013 to support greater local control, meaningful community engagement and more equitable spending for all [...]

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2017 State of America’s Children® Release

Los Angeles–Children’s Defense Fund’s The State of America’s Children® 2017 details the immoral and preventable poverty, homelessness, hunger, health problems, poor education and violence plaguing children. The most recent data suggest: Child Population: The U.S. has 73.6 million children. Children of color, who are disproportionately poor, will be a majority of our children by 2020. In California, there are 9 million children and 74 percent are children of color. Child Poverty: Nearly 1 in 5 children are poor-more than 13.2 million. Nearly 70 percent of poor children are non-White. 8 percent of children live in extreme poverty. In California, one in 5 children - approx. 1.78 million - are poor. Children of color are disproportionately impacted: 30 percent of Black children and 27 percent of Latino children are poor. 8 percent of California children live in extreme poverty. Income and Wealth [...]

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Parents and Stakeholders Claim LBUSD Violates State Law, Depriving High Needs Students Some $40 Million in Services for the 2016-17 School Year

Long Beach, CA – The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is violating state law by misallocating more than $40 million of state education funding that is specifically designed to increase or improve services for low-income students, English language learners and foster youth, according to an administrative complaint filed today by Public Advocates, Inc. on behalf of Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA), Latinos in Action and parents of low-income and English learner students. The complaint asserts that LBUSD is not meeting the promise of equity in the new school funding law known as Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by failing to increase and improve services for the high-need students who generate additional funds for the district called "supplemental and concentration" grants. Instead, the district has approved allocations for everyday basic instructional services that do not specially address the neediest populations, including [...]

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Children’s Defense Fund – California and Public Counsel Release Report on Racial Justice and Educational Equity in Long Beach Schools

Long Beach, CA – Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) and Public Counsel released a report Tuesday about educational equity and racial justice in Long Beach schools. The report, [Untold Stories Behind One of America's Best Urban School Districts][4], is a bold vision for Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to build and foster positive learning environments for all students. "The report combines a deep analysis of data and policies with the lived experiences of LBUSD students and community stakeholders who have long been advocating for higher commitment and investment in social emotional supports," said Angelica Salazar, senior policy associate for CDF-CA and coauthor of the report. "A deep look at the district's data found the racial disparity of suspensions issued to White and Black students continues to increase, while the written policies are primarily punitive, and community keeps asking for more [...]

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Statement from Alex Johnson of Children’s Defense Fund-California on Governor’s May Revise Budget Proposal

In response to Governor Brown's May Revise budget proposal released today, Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-California, issued this statement: "We were pleased to see that the Governor's May Revise proposes $2 million for the Franchise Tax Board to support additional outreach and marketing to ensure California's new state Earned Income Tax Credit reaching more eligible poor, working families. We look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to ensure those outreach resources are targeted effectively, including support for community-based organizations and free tax preparation services. However, the Governor's May Revise fails to include investments in critical programs for children and families and consequently ignores the reality that the state continues to have the highest poverty rate in the nation, with 1 in 4 California children living in poverty. During the recession, Governor Brown and the California [...]

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Statement from Alex Johnson, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund-California, on LAUSD’s new superintendent

In response to the selection of Michelle King to lead Los Angeles Unified School District, Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-California, issued this statement: "We congratulate Michelle King on her appointment as the new superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and as the first African American woman to lead the nation's second largest district. As a leader who has worked her way up the ranks at LAUSD, Superintendent King understands the district, its challenges and the needs of the more than 600,000 students who call LAUSD home. While LAUSD has made some important progress over the last several years – more students are testing at proficient or advanced in the core subjects on standardized tests, and high school dropout, suspension and expulsion rates are declining – much more work is needed to ensure success for LAUSD's [...]

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