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Local Education Leaders Push Bills to Improve Academic Performance for Black Students-GV Wire

Two local school board members recently visited Sacramento in support of a parliamentary bill proposed to provide more funding to the most academically struggling students.

In many states, including Fresno and Clovis, those students are black. According to the Fresno County School Supervisory Authority, the worst performing subgroup of state-wide students who have not received additional educational funding in the last two decades is African-American students. In 2019, California test data showed that 67% of them did not meet English standards and 79% did not meet math standards.

Parliamentary Bill 2774 is strong from supporters to improve the fairness of education, such as Fresno Councilor Kesia Thomas and Clovis Unified’s first African-American Councilor Jolanda Moore. Has gained great support.

Moore said he represented himself, not the Clovis Board of Education, in lobbying Sacramento. And she states that AB 2774 is written to support a group of poorest-performing students who have not yet received additional funding.

“It’s not about helping them because they’re black, it’s about helping them because they’re struggling,” she told the school zone last week.

Support for students

The features of AB 2774 are: California provides additional funding through the Local Control Funding Formula for homeless people, foster parents, and students struggling to learn English. The bill adds a category of so-called “non-overlapping” students and will continue to provide additional funding for students in the sector with the lowest performance compared to their classmates.

Even in the school zone:

  • Student politicians at Fresno State University are disqualified from serving.
  • The “Shakespeare Intensive” drama camp is scheduled for Fresno Pacific.
  • FUSD offers a free vaccination clinic for traditional childhood illnesses.
  • Residents come to Fresno from the Caribbean.

If a subgroup can fill that achievement gap, another poorly performing subgroup will take the place.

Proponents of improving the equity of education funding tried to pass AB 2774 a few years ago, but instead settled for $ 300 million with “one-off” funding, a student at Fresno County Supervisory Authority. Said Angie Barfield, Program Specialist for Fairness and Empowerment. school’s.

However, one-off funding meant that there was no further guarantee when funding was exhausted, hindering district efforts to hire teachers and establish programs in the long run, Barfield said. rice field.

She said California would need to invest additional money if state leaders were truly committed to the fairness of education.

More money to support students

According to Burfield, Fresno Unified, which has already implemented a number of programs aimed at improving academic performance for black students, could earn an additional $ 8.9 million annually under AB 2774. Central Unified could generate an additional $ 8.4 million and Clovis Unified could generate just under $ 1 million.

The Fresno County School Supervisory Authority is planning a press conference on Thursday, with local supervisors and councilors requesting Governor Gavin Newsom to support AB 2772. This is currently under discussion by the Senate Expenditure Committee. If funded, AB 2774 will provide $ 400 million across the state and more than $ 19 million to Fresno County Public Schools to 2967 students who have not yet received additional funding.

Fresno Unified’s efforts to increase educational fairness include an African-American Academic Acceleration Program and a new agreement with Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. School student.

Through the school district’s HBCU Step-Up Program, high school students in Edison, Sunnyside, and Bullard can enroll in virtual classes with Benedict instructors, and Jeremy Ward, assistant director for college and career preparation. Said. He said the district plans to extend the program to other high schools in the future.

Introducing the success of the university

The first class of this fall for 11th grade is an introduction to a successful college course, followed by an African-American history course in the spring. According to Ward, fourth grade students can enroll in one English course and one computer science course, both of which earn transferable college credits.

Students are taught in the classroom, but are effectively taught by Benedict instructors and have Fresno Unified teachers in the classroom to provide the necessary face-to-face support.

Admissions are open to all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, but Ward said the program was designed to support black students in the transition from high school to college.

“This program was developed to help colored Fresno Unified students, especially African-American students, lag behind all subgroups in attending and attending high school,” he said. Said in the email. “Our country’s HBCU institutions have a legacy of supporting African-American students on their own, so we are providing support to African-American students, so we will build a partnership with HBCU. I was prompted. “

In Fresno, only 17% of black students go on to college and have a bachelor’s degree, Barfield said.

Benedict College is not the only HBCU associated with Fresno. In June, St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced that it had created an HCBU Urban Access Hub that connects community college students to four years of HCBU education.

Why is HCBU so important to black students? According to Barfield, after the Civil War, they were usually the only college open to black students, and today there are more options. However, she said, HCBUs, which are usually staffed with black professors and managers, can give students the confidence to succeed in their college careers.


The student government at Fresno State University was a bit confused this month when the newly elected ASI president, Cynthia Aliaga Sanchez, and two senators resigned.

cause? They were no longer eligible to serve.

Arriaga-Sanchez has just been elected ASI President for the 2022-23 academic year and was established on June 1st. The same was true for the two student senators, Jasmine Sevilla and Samantha Snow, said James Martinez, head of operations at ASI.

Martinez did not reveal why the student was disqualified, but said it was the result of a regular audit conducted at the end of each semester after the grades were submitted. Student qualifications depend on whether or not they carry the full course load. Maintain an average grade of at least 2.0.

According to Martinez, Vice President Karen Carrillo will be appointed as the interim successor to Aliaga Sanchez, and the remaining student senators will consider options for how to permanently fill the post. Senator held a virtual meeting last week to hear about options. A special Senate meeting is scheduled for this week to help students decide how to fill vacant seats.

The student Senate position will be filled by appointment, but it will wait until a new president is appointed, he said.

Fresno Pacific offers drama camps

Hey, you’re the king and queen of the drama — Fresno Pacific University will be hosting a week-long camp next month. “Shakespeare Intensive”, that is.

The work of renowned British playwright William Shakespeare will be the focus of Fresno Pacific’s drama camp. The drama camp is open to teens aged 13-18 and will take place August 8-12 in the southeastern part of the Fresno campus.

(School Zone remembers the vast number of Shakespeare’s works given to her by SZ’s high school English teachers, but I don’t like it altogether, while exposure greatly enhances School Zone’s understanding of English. I raised it.)

Participants will practice drama games, learn Warm Up Exercises and Vocal Techniques, create characters, and learn the history of theater “through Shakespeare’s lenses through scenes and monologues,” the university said in a news release. ..

Students also watch Shakespeare movies daily and get their lunches. Camping hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm and Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. This includes a student showcase starting at 2 pm and taking place at the university’s new Warkentine Culture & Arts Center. The camp is taught by Brandy Martin, director of the university’s theater program, and guest artist Blake Ellis.

The cost is $ 75.To register, please visit / e / youth-drama-camp-tickets-349776961307

Fresno Pacific University’s drama camp begins on August 8th. (Fresno Pacific University)

FUSD offers a free vaccination clinic

It’s still about a month before the new semester begins, but parents are thinking about getting vaccinated against traditional illnesses such as polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, rubella (Dtap), mumps, measles, and rubella. Is not premature. (MMR), hepatitis B, and measles. (COVID is not on the list and is not a mandatory vaccination.)

Kindergarten children need to be up to date with all vaccines before enrolling in school. In addition, the next 7th grade must be vaccinated against whooping cough (whooping cough) and must prove that they have been vaccinated against chickenpox for the second time.

The district will offer a free vaccination clinic to Tioga Middle School, 3232 E. Fairmount Ave., Room 26 from August 11th. The clinic is open from 8 am to 2 pm on weekdays and does not have MediCal or insurance.

Parents of health insurance students should contact their health insurance company or the pharmacy that has the required vaccine.

Free clinics are only available by appointment. To make a reservation, please call (559) 248-7157.

From the Caribbean to Fresno

Speaking of healthcare, Fresno has 12 new medical residents who have traveled here from St. George’s University on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean.

They are one of St. George’s 84 graduates who came to California as residents this year and are the last step for many medical students before they begin or participate in practice.

Two of the twelve are at the St. Agnes Medical Center and the remaining ten are participating in the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, according to St. George’s spokeswoman Maggie Cerves. She said they would work in highly-needed disciplines, including pediatrics and internal medicine.

According to Cerves, six are from California and one is from Fowler.

It’s good to have more residents, as many doctors tend to stick to where they practice. More doctors are in great need in the valley, where the services of doctors and other medical professionals have not been available for a long time.