In 2020, a coalition of students, parents, educators, and community members led by Black student leaders fought for over $100 million in annual LAUSD funding to create the Black Student Achievement Plan (BSAP) with a focus on decriminalizing students and increasing learning and mental health support. Of that funding, $15 million was allocated per year to implement community-based safety programs at BSAP schools with the goal to expand to all schools. 

But for the last two school years, the district sat on about 90% of the $30 million that was allocated for programs like safe passage to and from school, violence prevention, and restorative justice as alternatives to policing students.

As part of our recent contract victories, we pushed the district to codify the Black Student Achievement Plan into our 2022-25 contract and won agreements for the district to fund more resources, staffing, and professional development for BSAP schools.
Educators, students, community partners, and families have been persistent in raising concerns to the board about the district’s failure to invest in community-based safety programs to keep students safe on and off campus. Then in June, the school board voted to pass a resolution directing Carvalho and the district to conduct an in-depth analysis of community-based safety approaches, make the application process more accessible for community partners, and develop a report for the board by January 24.

During this week’s school board meeting, UTLA Officer Gloria Martinez demanded the district stop the delay and make movement to implement community-based safety programs: “These programs have proven success. These programs build trust in the community. But these are the same programs that have been ignored.”

Romy Griego, Students Deserve leader and 11th grader at Eagle Rock High School, expressed frustration waiting for the district to implement the programs for which she and other students have been advocating for over a year. She called on the district to collaborate with student leaders and community partners: “Do it in conjunction with the BSAP steering committee, do it in conjunction with the Safety Task Force, do it in conjunction with Eagle Rock students and students across LAUSD who are saying NO to policing and criminalization.”