February 29, 2024—IE’s Community News’ Manny Sandoval spoke with Public Advocates’ School Bond Financing Complainant and student, Angel Orozco, about his  participation to address disparities in School funding for facilities specifically in the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD).

Public Advocates, pro bono counsel Goodwin Procter LLP, and impacted students, families, residents, and grassroots community organizations from across the state demanded the state end its highly discriminatory system for funding school facilities or face a lawsuit challenging this fall’s anticipated state school construction bond. Students, parents and district personnel shared stories and evidence at a virtual press conference to explain why California’s system of public school facility funding is inequitable and maintains an unconstitutional status quo—giving more money to wealthier districts who already have financial advantages over lower-wealth districts. Attorneys for the complainants followed the event with a demand letter to the governor, and various state officials and agencies, urging them to end grossly unequal and unconstitutional disparities in California’s school facility funding program. The letter outlined immediate reforms that state leadership should use to create a revised equitable funding structure that supports districts most in need.

“Our district is facing a critical shortfall in funding, which is severely impacting the quality of education students in our communities are receiving,” Orozco stated. “…In biology classes, the lack of microscopes and other basic equipment meant that we often had to skip over important hands-on activities,” he explained. “…This significantly hindered our ability to engage with the material fully…..The stark reality is that our learning environment is far from conducive to success.”

Read more about his work on this campaign!

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