Winning an Eviction Moratorium Extension and More Rent Forgiveness

Public Advocates has been laser-focused on stopping the eviction tsunami and debt crisis caused by the pandemic. After pressure from renters, we are relieved that the state extended eviction protections through September 30, 2021, and has promised to cover 100% of rent for low-income households. The race is now on to make sure the state gets $5.2 billion in federal rent forgiveness dollars into the hands of those entitled to it before eviction protections expire. The pandemic, and its economic impact, are far from over for renters, and the legislature may need to take additional action this year to close loopholes in coverage or further extend eviction protections. We will continue working with our coalition partners to make sure no renter is evicted or saddled with crushing rental debt because of COVID. 
Historic Expansion of Cal Grants for Community College Students!
There's no question that Cal Grant reform was THE equity issue in higher education this year in California. We are thrilled that the new state budget makes historic investments in the state’s primary financial aid program. The legislature and Governor Newsom recently agreed to expand guaranteed Cal Grant eligibility to at least 133,000 more community college students, doubling how many community college students currently receive aid. This is a huge victory for college access and affordability! We are proud to have been part of a broad coalition of college students and advocates who called for greater investment.  
Department of Education Finds That San Bernardino County Failed to Properly Oversee Millions of Dollars Intended for High Need Students

On June 16, the California Department of Education issued an historic decision finding that the San Bernardino County Office of Education improperly approved school district spending plans that shorted high-need students the equivalent of more than $166 million dollars in services. The decision is the first in California to hold a county office of education accountable for its duties to oversee school districts under California’s education funding law. The finding is in response to a complaint filed by Public Advocates. We hope this improves oversight of the billions of dollars that the state allocates to school districts. We also hope this will lead to more spending on enrichment programs, counselors, tutoring and social-emotional learning for students who need it most.
Public Advocates Calls for Enforcement of Law That Limits Remedial College Classes

Public Advocates just filed letters demanding legal compliance from Los Rios Community College District and Cosumnes River College citing systemic failures in the Sacramento community college system’s implementation of AB 705—a law that was supposed to end the practice of disproportionately funneling Black and Latinx students into dead-end remedial math and English classes that did not count towards a transfer to four-year schools. For decades, many students have been trapped in these classes—wasting time, accumulating debt, and having their careers derailed. 
A Big Welcome to the Summer Fellows and Law Clerks!

We are delighted to welcome the summer fellows and law clerks to Public Advocates including three Charles Houston Bar Association fellows! They have all hit the ground runningmaking public comment at legislative hearings, attending community meetings and conducting important research. The Metropolitan Equity Team will be joined by AJ Hudson, Gracen Evall, and Esme Levy. The Education Equity Team will be joined by Elóra Henderson, Grace Allen, Jaden Zwick, and Maen Bin Said.
Solidarity with San Jose Transit Workers

For the past year, transit workers in San Jose have been fighting alongside their riders for COVID safety measures like free on-board masks and on-site testing and vaccination. These essential frontline workers did not have the luxury to work safely from home. Day after grueling day they kept transit running so that many other essential workers could continue to serve our community at their jobs at healthcare facilities, grocery stores and many other critical destinations. On May 26, their lives were shattered in a mass shooting where nine members of the union lost their lives. Public Advocates stands in solidarity with San Jose transit workers who have showed incredible courage during the pandemic and who now need the public's support more than ever.
Blog: Resources for LCAP Advocacy for an Equitable Return to School

Billions of dollars are being invested in CA schools right now. This has created a unique opportunity for school districts and local communities to reshape our education system. Check out our blog post and how you can make your voice heard.
Public Advocates in the News

Managing Attorney John Affeldt is quoted in EdSource articles on record education investments in the state budget, changes to the state education funding formula, reactions to the state budget for K-12 and higher education, and the pandemic’s effect on school accountability.....Senior Staff Attorney Nicole Gon Ochi was part of a live chat with the Long Beach Post on education funding advocacy…..Black Star News mentions the Alliance for Housing Justice in a story about the fight against zoning laws….The LA Times, EdSource, the San Bernardino Sun, and CalMatters’ Dan Walters cover our complaint alleging misspending in San Bernardino County…..Staff Attorney Shajuti Hossain was on a Capitol Weekly panel on single family zoning…..Managing Attorney Richard Marcantonio is mentioned in a Streetsblog SF story about fighting austerity budgets at transportation agencies…..Legislative Counsel Erin Apte is mentioned in a CalMatters opinion piece on increased education funding…..Erin is also mentioned in the SF Chronicle, Voice of San Diego and EdSource for our report examining transparency concerns around increased education funding…..EdSource mentions Public Advocates in a story about the education digital divide…..Deputy Managing Attorney Angelica Jongco is quoted in a CalMatters story about the bridging the digital divide.....Public Advocates is mentioned in a San Gabriel Valley Tribune story about police no longer being stationed at Pomona Unified Schools
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