Antonio Villaraigosa Unveils 12-Point Students’ Bill of Rights with Focus on Education Equity
Students in Los Angeles were given an opportunity to have their voices heard on education issues.
Last week gubernatorial candidate and former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa released his “California Students’ Bill of Rights” with input from middle and high school students.
“The days of leaking roofs, non-functional bathrooms, lack of books and other basic resources in our public schools must end if we are going to fully and effectively educate our children,” said Villaraigosa. “California children can succeed, but we must address the pervasive educational inequality if we want our state to continue to be a global leader. It is time for California to adopt a Students’ Bill of Rights to make sure every child has an equal chance to succeed.”
While he addresses the need to increase funding for schools, the Bill of Rights also addresses other socioeconomic factors that hinders students’ ability to succeed in school. Some of those points include access to nutritional programs, affordable housing, and economic equality.
Teachers from various LA Unified schools brought their students to have a chance to engage with people in government. They see the Bill of Rights as an opportunity for underserved students to have a voice and hopefully see this turn into actual policy.
Perhaps what is most notable in the Bill of Rights is the right to safe schools and neighborhoods. The large number of mass shootings, and especially school shootings, in recent years has prompted planned walkouts and marches from students across the country including another one planned for this weekend.
“To give our kids a chance to succeed in public school, they need to be secure and safe in school, and coming and going to school,” reads the Bill. “A focus on safety does not need to, and should not, criminalize students. They must be free to think and learn without fear and trauma.”
The Bill of Rights follows suit with the messaging of Villaraigosa’s campaign to focus on increasing economic opportunity across the state.
“Unless the state invests more in schools and its students, the lack of education will further perpetuate economic inequity,” he said in a statement.
The 12 points for Villaraigosa’s Students' Bill of Rights are as follows:
- The Right to Demand that Decision-Makers Put Students First
- The Right to Economic Equality
- The Right to Appropriate School Funding
- The Right to Equity Money Being Used in the Classroom, not the Bureaucracy
- The Right to Access to High-Quality Schools.
- The Right to Teachers Who Get More Pay and More Professional Training
- The Right to Hold Every One of Us Accountable
- The Right to Support from the Beginning
- The Right to Be Free from the Worry of Being Homeless or Housing Insecure
- The Right to Nutritional Food
- The Right to Safe Schools and Neighborhoods
- The Right to Advance to College or Career Training