Tomorrow (April 20) is the last day to get a letter in for AB 1469 before next Wednesday’s Assembly Education Committee hearing. Please send an organizational letter to support free transportation for low-income students across California and end much of the criminalization, stops and searches of youth of color to and from school.
Fax your letter to (916) 319-2187 or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4PM.
Please e-mail us a copy of your letters and we can also make sure they are registered for the hearing next week – email@example.com. Thank you!
CUT AND PASTE THIS LETTER ONTO YOUR ORGANIZATION’S LETTERHEAD
TO SUPPORT AB 1469 – STUDENT TRANSPORTATION
The Honorable Patrick O’Donnell
Chair, Assembly Education Committee
Sacramento, California 95814
Re: Assembly Bill 1469 (Grayson) – Support
[Name of Your Organization] supports Assembly Bill 1469 (Grayson), which would help increase opportunities for California’s disadvantaged youth by ensuring that children who attend the poorest schools have access to free transportation to school.
Lack of access to transportation to and from school is a key barrier to school attendance for low-income youth. Students who frequently miss school are more likely to struggle academically and be pushed out of school altogether. According to the California Attorney General’s In School and On Track report, poverty is a significant cause of school absence, and nearly one in ten low-income students miss 18 or more days of school per year. About 77% of all chronically absent students are low-income. Across the nation, 80 percent of the people in prison did not finish high school. And in California, 90 percent of the people in prison were suspended or expelled from school. A leading cause of school absenteeism and push-out is attendance.
In addition, the recent passage of SB 883 (Hertzberg) decriminalized fare evasion for youth under 18. But youth can be still face heavy fines, fuRther hurting low-income families who must choose between paying for rent and food or getting children back and forth to school. Free transportation would eliminate much of the harmful interaction between youth of color and law enforcement on public transportation – including stops, frisks and searches – which further discourage students attendance.
The inability to afford transportation is one of the most frequently cited barriers that low-income youth face in attending school. Unfortunately, funding for school buses is insufficient, and many districts have significantly reduced or eliminated busing for most students. AB 1469 will help address this issue by guaranteeing free transportation to low-income students who have trouble getting to school. School districts would be empowered to coordinate with key stakeholders to determine the most effective strategies to get their community’s disadvantaged children to school, such as public transit passes, school buses, and safe walking routes.
Increased school attendance would also increase average daily attendance, enabling schools in poor communities to raise more of the funds that are essential in maintaining quality schools. In denying low-income youth access to transportation, California denies funding to the state’s
Optional: Include 2 sentences about why your organization cares about this issue.
AB 1469 will help prevent low-income children from being trapped in the cycle of poverty and criminalization and remove structural barriers that keep them from obtaining an education.
For these reasons, [Name of Your Organization] supports this legislation and urges you to vote yes on AB 1469.
Again, please e-mail us a copy of your letter – firstname.lastname@example.org – and we can also make sure it is included in the bill’s analysis for next week’s hearing.
If you can come to Sacramento next Wednesday, April 26, please attend the Assembly Education Committee hearing to speak out in support of AB 1469: California State Capitol, Room 4202, 1:30PM