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New CA funding law LCFF/LCAP requires that school districts facilitate and encourage student voice in planning school improvement and the use of public monies for education. At the CA SBE meeting on July 10, 2014 both students and Board expressed the need for authentic student engagement in writing the LCAP:
LCAP instructions "make explicit the existing requirement that districts consult with students about the LCAP." About 150 students in a Student Voice coalition attended Thursday’s SBE hearing to make the case that the proposed language must ensure that districts involve students in creating their LCAPs, rather than giving them the plans after the fact.
“We no longer want to be students sitting silently behind a desk with our hand held high, waiting to be called on,” said Maurice Lemons, a junior at Hamilton High, an arts magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. “No, we want the opportunity to give input into the system that most directly affects our lives and our futures.”
Board members agreed, “The intent of the statute was to engage students early in the process and not merely present (the LCAP) toward the last week of school,” said board member Bruce Holaday.
RSUSD students may join with other schools throughout the State to build a more active and effective student voice. CASC is a CA State organization that assists schools in building effective student councils:
The mission of the California Association of Student Councils is to provide leadership development for elementary, middle and high school students and their advisors in California and across the world through peer training. Our programs emphasize authenticity, ethics and collaborative decision-making and enhance learning outside of the classroom by fostering self-esteem and civic engagement. CASC advocates for youth, provides an avenue for the expression on student views and empowers young people.
The purpose of the California Association of Student Councils is to improve the quality of life in the world by developing skilled, ethical and sensitive leaders of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
See this website for the organization's newsletter: http://www.casc.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/2015-2016-Harbinger-Issue-2-v3.pdf