CRLA as part of a group of allied organizations and advocacy partners sent an open letter to California Superintendent Torlakson urging him to address the excessive use of suspension and expulsion in California's public schools. The six page letter lays out a comprehensive overview of a destructive state-wide phenomenon, which disproportionately effects low-income students of color, including those in rural areas where CRLA is most focused. The February 28th letter draws on robust data and research to describe what has been identified by CRLA as the "school to nowhere" pipeline in California.
CRLA has identified educational disparities in our communities of service that affect Latino children and children of limited English proficiency, in particular. When school- and district-wide statistics relating to discipline, class assignment, dropout rate, graduation and enrollment in college are tracked by race, ethnicity and language it is clear that a disproportionate number of Latinos and limited English speaking children are not succeeding in California's rural schools. Education experts and advocates throughout the country have acknowledged similar disparities affecting other children of color and children enrolled in special education programs and numerous studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between failure in school and a higher chance of ending up in the criminal justice system and called this trend the "school to prison pipeline." CRLA is committed to addressing these disparities which result, not only in an increased chance of incarceration, but limit the work and life opportunities for these children-a pipeline to nowhere.
CRLA has launched a comprehensive initiative in our service areas, to address educational disparities through advocacy at the school site and in the courts; educational policy work; and effective collaboration with parents, youth organizations and educators who share the goal of helping to create a pipeline to success in California schools.
Our efforts challenge inequitable practices related to school discipline, school assignment and course availability to ensure that all children have equal access to a meaningful education and a full range of choices available to them after they graduate.
For more informaion on the School to Nowhere Pipeline project, please contact Cynthia Rice, firstname.lastname@example.org