Dr. Arleana Waller, Founder, Willie J Frink College Prep
I stood on the steps of the State Capital,1021 O Street, with over 600 students and hundreds of educators, parents, faith, and civil rights leaders, including Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber who co-authored AB 2774 with Chris Holden.
As I was part of living history, I stood to fight for our future students that will walk through the doors of our public charter Willie J Frink College Prep, positioned to open in 2023. Willie J Frink College Prep, a college, entrepreneur, and civic leadership preparatory is a partnership with public schools with the intentional mission to target and serve the lowest performing group, to close the African American achievement gap, and educate the whole child. We will help it make sense.
At the State Capital, we rallied then marched to testify before the Education Committee in support of AB 2774 which would generate an additional $400 million a year in perpetuity for schools that serve Black students as Black students are the lowest performing subgroup. It moved forward in assembly with a 7-0 vote. The Assembly Education Committee approved this legislation that would require California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction to identify and provide targeted funding for the lowest-performing pupil subgroup in the state.
AB 2774 also requires school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education (COE) to be held accountable to provide additional services and improve academic performance. The Bill’s goal is to remedy existing racial equity gaps and ensure that all Black students, regardless of socio-economic status, have the resources they need to succeed. In 2019, standardized testing data compiled by the California Department of Education (CDE) showed that Black students are the lowest-performing subgroup (on state standardized tests) with 67% not passing English Language Arts (ELA) and 79% not meeting the Math standard. ( according to data compiled by the California Department of Education (CDE).)
This bill addresses the longstanding equity issues with the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which was created to provide additional funding for the highest need students in California. Over one-quarter of Black students are not receiving supplemental funding through LCFF which perpetuate the racialized cumulative disadvantages in their K-12 Education. 80,000 Black students in the state of California do not receive any additional funding under the LCFF, according to data compiled by the CDE.
Education is the equalizer, the economic gap closer, for all. Make it Make Sense! Our children’s education and future are at stake. Through our school, Willie J Frink College Prep, we will partner with public schools and county offices of education to create a cultural learning environment that raises the bar of excellence by mirroring the proven school system of Fortune Schools which has worked to close the African American and student of color education gaps.
We are currently seeking educators and supporters to fight for equality in education and to make it make sense for Black students.
Dr. Arleana Waller
Willie J Frink College Prep, a public charter school set to open Fall 2023