Indivisible: Conejo’s Education Issue Action Team is committed to fighting for high-quality, sufficiently funded public education that reflects the diversity and inclusive values of American society. The team’s initial areas of focus include:
- Monitoring changes to federal education policy and enforcement actions under the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
- Monitoring progress of the “Massie Bill” and other efforts to undermine or completely eliminate the Department of Education.
- Monitoring the agenda of, and participating in biweekly meetings of, the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) board of trustees. Particular concerns include implementation of curriculum standards delineated under California’s FAIR Act, and recent attempts to introduce religious-based discrimination into district policy.
Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education signaled a desire to transform American public education in profound ways – ways that many, if not most, education professionals see as hugely damaging. They would bring to fruition some longtime conservative goals that would undermine our public schools by:
- Diverting precious public-education funding to private, religious and charter schools via voucher initiatives. These programs reward the few children fortunate enough to gain entry, at the expense of millions more who remain in public schools. The private (and particularly religious) schools often are not subject to federal and state laws concerning the rights of LGBTQ students, differently abled students, and students with behavioral issues.
- Undermining fair and equitable implementation of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, which (among other elements) regulates the distribution of federal funds for Title I schools in high-poverty areas.
- Weakening or eliminating Common Core curriculum standards.
At the local level, the CVUSD has elevated to the position of school board president a trustee whose past and recent interference with the administration and curriculum has created considerable controversy. Most recently, implementation of the California FAIR Act’s provisions for highlighting the historical contributions of LGBTQ Californians was called into question on the grounds that “the community does not want homosexuality, bisexual and transgender [identity] taught to 7-year-old children.” (The FAIR Act contains no such language.)