Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to do more than he’s proposed so far to target black student success, suggests Ed Trust-West, a nonprofit that advocates for justice in education, in a recent report.

As reported by EdSource, Ed Trust-West has praised the governor’s budget proposal that will send an additional $300 million annually to the state’s poorest schools and revamp the state’s accountability system to target racial disparities statewide. But the nonprofit says more is needed to address the achievement gap.

The Ed Trust–West analysis of the governor’s proposal estimates that about 6% of all California and 7% of black students in the state attend the schools that would receive $300 million set aside under the proposal the governor calls an “equity multiplier.” It found that it would increase funding for students in these schools by an estimated $887 per student.

The finding mirrors an EdSource analysis showing that the equity multiplier schools would serve only 6.6% of California’s black students. However, the Newsom administration and the California Legislative Black Caucus said equity multiplier schools would reach nearly 10% of the state’s 299,000 black students.

The report outlined four recommendations for targeting black student success in California through the state’s formula for funding schools, the process for holding them accountable, and the support schools receive from the state to improve. First, it urged a targeted approach to improvement and accountability, given the “marginal” increases for black students followed by a steep decline resulting from the pandemic under the Local Control Funding Formula.

California’s black students trail every other race or ethnicity on measures of academic achievement, including performance on state tests and graduation rates. However, unlike English learners and low-income students, school districts do not receive extra funding to address Black students’ specific needs. Ed Trust–West recommends adjusting the Local Control Funding Formula to address California’s yawning and persistent racial achievement gap. The governor’s proposal directs school districts to use the yearly state funding to help all student groups improve academic achievement.

A bill that would directly fund the lowest-performing racial or ethnic group, AB 2774, was written by Assemblymember Akilah Weber, D-La Mesa, and then pulled during the last session. The governor’s advisers warned it could go up against Proposition 209, California’s ban on affirmative action.

Ed Trust–West said it recognizes the limitations proposed by the measure and other laws like Proposition 209. However, it also recommended improving accountability and support systems for school districts as they create and implement their Local Control Accountability Plans, including requiring black students and families to be at the table during the process and grounding actions targeting black students in research.