Ed. Note: Latino students comprise over half the K-12 student population in California, and while graduation rates for Latinos are on the rise, a persistent achievement gap continues to separate them from their white and Asian counterparts. Sergio Cuellar is statewide campaign coordinator with Californians for Justice, a grassroots advocacy group that works with Latino and other minority groups in the state. He says communication and engagement are key to closing the gap. This is the second in a series of NAM interviews with those involved in the state’s education reform movement. (See pt. 1 here.)
What are you seeing in California now that excites you with respect to closing the achievement gap for Latino students?
There is a lot of promise with Local Control Funding Formula, if it’s implemented in the right way. And with Latino students making up a big portion of EL students and the low-income population [in the state], seeing what could come out of this new formula is very exciting for us. But we’re also working in the community to really make sure the new funds go toward improving services and educational attainment.
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