Tell CA legislators to invest more in supporting children’s mental health and academic recovery

Increase ASES to at least $1.4B for 2021-22

As California figures out how to transition from distance learning to safely reopening schools, we must also figure out how to provide the extra support that kids need to recover, catch up academically, and thrive. Researchers are already seeing huge mental health impacts on kids and estimate that a majority of CA public school students will need to catch up academically by an extra year or more.

A once-in-a-generation crisis requires a bold recovery: Let’s make sure CA lawmakers spend education money transparently and effectively!


To: Governor Gavin Newsom and CA Legislators

We are California families asking you to strategically allocate funding in this year’s budget to give kids most impacted by the pandemic – students with special needs, English learners, and low-income students of color – the opportunities they deserve to recover and thrive after this pandemic.

We are asking legislators to strategically invest more funds to support these students’ mental health, social-emotional well-being, and accelerate learning inside and outside of schools.

This is an enormous challenge and we know that schools can’t do it alone. This requires all hands on deck. We request substantial funding for educational interventions and programs both within school districts and through community-based projects created by non-profit organizations, cities, parks and recreation centers, etc. Conversations with legislators have lead us to determine that Proposition 63 (Mental Health Services Act/MHSA) and the After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program are two *potential* funds that could be used towards these programs. ASES needs to be significantly increased in the 2021-2022 state budget to at least $1.4B and the definition of mental health services needs to be expanded to include COVID recovery programs for social-emotional and academic supports to provide the most impacted communities with:

  • Expanded learning opportunities and 1:1 support in schools
  • Individualized support outside of schools that help accelerate learning and support students’ social-emotional needs like tutoring, mentoring, learning pods, and after-school programs
  • Affordable mental health services, including counseling and therapy, for students and families inside and outside of schools

This once-in-a-generation crisis has affected each of our families in consequential ways.

The opportunities a society provides for its young people reflect its moral fiber. We call on the legislature and the Governor to invest in resources that will allow all our communities to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and emerge stronger together.

Sincerely,

Parents of the Future of California

Innovate Public School Parent Leader Teams and Partners