This blog kicks off a series focused on Advancement Project California’s technical assistance to The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities (BHC) sites. Over the next few weeks, we will release blogs that detail our work in investment tracking and analysis in support of racial equity across California.
Coalitions across the state have mobilized to track the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), an equity-based funding system used to allocate school districts with resources based on need among foster youth, English learners and low-income students. Since its passage in 2013, advocates have been working to increase transparency and accountability of this designated funding to ensure that it provides the support where it is needed.
The Health Equity program recognizes the clear and direct connection that education has to health. For many communities across the state, especially low-income communities of color, the consequences of poverty are most visible in the classrooms, cafeterias and playgrounds of underfunded schools. This leads to lower graduation rates among Black, Latino and American Indian students, which increases likelihood of lifelong health risks and higher medical costs. A lack of education also increases risky health behaviors1 and decreases the likelihood of being employed and insured. Increased investments in school resources to combat these disparities has been a point of advocacy in California.
Health Equity collaborated with leaders at California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities – Long Beach on their The Every Student Matters Campaign. This initiative works to ensure that the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) invests in the academic and social-emotional safety net for their highest need students. We assessed the campaign’s goals and provided training to support the development of an Equity Index of Supplemental and Concentration Funds Target Schools, led by the Children’s Defense Fund-California. This measurement tools that ranks schools based on need provides a data-driven approach to prioritizing which schools need district funding most. The Long Beach BHC continues to use this tool to hold LBUSD accountable to increasing and improving services for the District’s highest need students.
Advancement Project California’s Health Equity team provides responsive technical support to communities looking to create and implement tailored research and policy tools to support their campaign goals. To learn how Health Equity can support your community, please contact the Director of Health Equity, Megan McClaire or (213) 406-9135.