We envision a system that provides joyful, enriching environments where all children and families feel seen, are supported to learn, and can thrive.

Why Education matters for racial equity:

Since the beginning of our nation, education has been used as a tool to suppress people of color’s voting, social mobility, and access to fundamental human rights and resources. Access to a high quality and equitable Birth to 12th grade early education system is crucial to promoting healthy whole child development and preparing children for success later in life. However, both the early care and education and K-12 systems are rife with bias and structural inequity. As a result, many of California’s youth of color are falling behind in educational outcomes. Educational disparities have downstream impact, limiting youth of color’s future economic opportunities and negatively impacting later health outcomes.

What we find:

Education is often seen as an equalizer, providing opportunities for young children of all races to reach their potential. Therefore, it is deeply concerning that disparities for Black, Latinx, Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander, and American Indian / Alaska Native youth across education indicators continue to persist. These disparities underscore the need for holistic interventions – both academic and non-academic – that reduce learning barriers.

Key Takeaways.


Policy levers:

There is a need to address the root causes of racial and educational inequity in California to build a B-12 system that advances healthy learning environments, positive school climates, and furthers connection, healing, wellbeing, and deeper learning. Advocates throughout the state are pushing for access to high-quality resources, curriculum, facilities, and well-trained, supported, diverse staff for all children, especially BIPOC children. Eliminating educational disparities will require progress on issues like school discipline by implementing restorative justice practices. Another way to eliminate disparities throughout early care and education settings and the K-12 education system is by providing them with adequate funding, adopting equity-based budget approaches that direct extra support to high-need children, and providing high need children with culturally and linguistically affirming practices. In order to address the historic inequities in the early learning and care system, early childhood advocates are calling on the state to revamp its reimbursement system for early childhood educators and providers.

Put Data to Use

Learn how you can take action to eliminate racial disparity and use RACE COUNTS data to advance social justice.

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