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Aspire Public Schools CEO Statement in response to Governor Newsom’s 2023-2024 California State Budget proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                               
January 11, 2022

In response to Governor Newsom’s 2023-2024 California State Budget proposal, Aspire Public Schools CEO Mala Batra issued the following statement:

Oakland, Calif. — We applaud Governor Newsom’s continued commitment to addressing the workforce shortage in our state’s public schools. Governor Newsom’s support for teacher training programs, resources for staff development, and incentives for educators who commit to working in priority schools throughout our state will help ensure our state’s students have well-trained, diverse teachers. While we acknowledge the uncertainty of this year’s budget, we also need policymakers to respond to the significant mental health needs of our students. 

The COVID-19 pandemic took a devastating toll on children’s mental health, and it exacerbated economic and psychological trauma that already existed in communities of color and under-resourced communities. The increase in student mental health concerns creates a barrier to learning in schools, and is spreading teachers too thin as they address these issues in the absence of enough mental health support in schools to meet students’ unprecedented needs. When schools have the resources they need to properly address students’ mental health needs, students will learn more, be more connected to their school community, and feel safer and more supported. And teachers’ jobs will become more manageable, leading to higher teacher satisfaction and retention, and decreased teacher burnout. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to identify and reallocate resources so that schools can meet the evolving needs of all our state’s students. 

About Aspire Public Schools
Aspire Public Schools operates 36 community-based public charter schools educating over 15,200 students in underserved communities across California. Founded in 1998, Aspire is one of the nation’s first and largest open-enrollment public charter school systems serving predominantly students of color from low-income communities. Delivering a rigorous education to students in grades TK-12, College for Certain is the focus for every age group. Teachers and families partner closely to ensure scholars are prepared to succeed in college, career and life. Learn more about Aspire Public Schools at aspirepublicschools.org.