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$15 Million CA State Budget Allocation for Student Success Coaches to Strengthen AmeriCorps Programs in Schools

$15 Million CA State Budget Allocation for 

Student Success Coaches to Strengthen AmeriCorps Programs in Schools

 San José, CA – California Gov. Gavin Newsom included $15M in the 2021-22 California State Budget for an AmeriCorps California Student Success Coach Grant Program. This allocation will ensure funding to provide vital academic and social emotional support in schools where student’s learning trajectories have shifted over the past sixteen months due to the pandemic and require additional social emotional support as they transition back to the physical classroom.

Funding will strengthen AmeriCorps programs like City Year that provide tutoring, mentoring, and social-emotional support in schools in San José, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Organizations are expressing their gratitude to Newsom for prioritizing these funds in the state budget. This budget allocation is a modest – yet effective – step towards working with organizations that are partnering with school districts to increase educational equity in California. There is no greater urgency than providing students with the adequate resources and supports needed so they can realize their full potential. 

“We are grateful to Governor Newsom for putting students first in this year’s budget. It is clear that students attending systemically under-resourced schools are going to need more help as they get back into the classroom. This funding is one way California can make up for the challenges in learning and social interactions that students experienced during the pandemic,” said Jeff Owen, Executive Director of City Year Sacramento. “Funding the Student Success Grant Program is a strategic investment in these students’ futures as well as the professional pathways of AmeriCorps mentors who go above and beyond to serve.” 

Over the past year, the pandemic has profoundly impacted schools and communities effected by poverty, deepening educational inequities as students struggle with the digital divide, experience social isolation, and deal with challenges to their mental health.

The students City Year serves are predominantly Latinx, Black, and members of the Asian-American Pacific Islander community many of whom face the immense strain from COVID-19 infections in their family, food and housing insecurity, and the added responsibilities of caring for siblings as their parents must work essential jobs.

“COVID-19 has hit our state and our students in unequal ways and it’s imperative we look for more ways to support the students who need it most” said Sandra Cano, Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Los Angeles. “City Year has been a lifeline for so many students and families before and during the pandemic. This funding will strengthen the program and enable Student Success Coaches to continue to mentor students and provide academic support as we come out of the pandemic and in years to come.”

Student Success Coaches in California AmeriCorps programs lend real-time academic assistance in the classroom, provide mentorship and extended learning time, and seek creative ways to connect with their students during these challenging times.

These AmeriCorps programs create equitable learning environments across schools in low-income communities, while providing a double bottom-line return on investment: social-emotional support and mentoring for students as well as leadership and career training for young adults who serve as Student Success Coaches.

Because of Newsom and the legislature, this $15 Million budget allocation will award competitive grants to AmeriCorps programs, increase stipends, incentivize recruitment of Student Success Coaches, and strengthen career pathways and financial stability for mentors that reflect the communities they serve.

“We appreciate Governor Newsom and Assemblymember Ash Kalra support for the work of AmeriCorps members as Student Success Coaches. As we come out of the pandemic this investment will continue to support the partnership with school districts focused on student achievement and socio-emotional support.”-Pete Settelmayer, City Year San José / Silicon Valley Vice President, Executive Director. 

About City Year: City Year San José / Silicon Valley closes the educational opportunity gap through national service by partnering and investing in local communities. City Year advances educational equity by supporting students’ holistic development and investing in under-resourced schools to become spaces that cultivate the potential of ALL students. As a national nonprofit with 30+ years of serving communities of color, we are committed to center equity in all we do – because there can be no educational equity without racial equity.

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