Thurmond Hosts Achievement Gap Roundtable

Thursday, April 12, 2018

On Wednesday, April 11, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) and education leaders had a robust discussion about closing the achievement gap for students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities. The roundtable provided a forum to acknowledge barriers for students and families and share best practices for shrinking the gap.  

“The achievement gap impacts students from various backgrounds,” Thurmond said. “Many of our school districts work diligently to close the gap, but despite their efforts the gap still persists. This roundtable is part of an ongoing conversation that will examine data, share best practices, and highlight existing resources that are available for school districts looking for assistance.”

Roundtable participants included State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson who spoke about the California Equity Performance and Improvement Program (CEPIP), Dr. Barbara Nemko, Napa County Superintendent of Schools,  who spoke about the importance of integrating technology into early learning so that young kids start reading at an early age, and Dr. Carl A. Cohn, Executive Director of the California Collaborative for Education Excellence (CCEE) who discussed statewide resources available to help students.

California ranks 46th in per-pupil spending schools need additional resources in order to close the gap. Thurmond is advancing a strong legislative package that generates more funding to give schools the resources they need to minimize the gap.

  • AB 2303 – taxes private prisons 10% that contract with the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. The revenue generated from this tax will go to preschool and after-school programs.
  • AB 2186 – add $200 million into Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to provide to give schools the resources they need to get more students involved in STEM education programs.
  • AB 2471 – provides funding for school based services such as nurses, mental health, social, and academic support services.
  • AB 1743 – Provides over $500 million towards Career Technical Education programs in schools.

The roundtable was hosted by the Sacramento City Unified School District at the Serna Center.

A recording of the Achievement Gap Roundtable is available here.

RELEASE CONTACT: Ayodeji Taylor (916) 319-2015

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.