Support California Assembly Bill 104 The Student Learning Recovery Act of 2021
March 24, 2021 – Bill 104
The Honorable Lorena Gonzalez The Honorable Patrick O’Donnell
California State Assembly Speaker of the California State Assembly
The Honorable Anthony Redon
The Honorable Kevin Kiley,
Chair, State Assembly Committee on Education Vice-Chair, State Assembly Committee on Education
Dear Assemblywoman Gonzalez, Speaker Redon, Chair O’Donnell, and Vice-Chair Kiley:
Catholic Charities urges your support of A.B. 104 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego), the Student Learning Recovery Act of 2021, as amended and re-referred to the State Assembly Education Committee. This transformative bill helps ensure California’s disproportionately impacted students of color and those in high poverty get the tools they need to overcome the adverse learning circumstances and social-emotional trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic. We embrace the bill’s premise that all students deserve a fair education and should not be penalized for catastrophic circumstances beyond their control.
We are encouraged that A.B. 104 allocates $4.6 billion to local educational agencies statewide to provide supplemental out-of-school-time instruction and support services, among other initiatives, to re-engage students in school and restore the lost months of their education since the onset of COVID-19. The closure of schools necessitated by the pandemic has exacerbated devastating educational inequities that prevent low-income students and families from accessing resources and participating in remote schooling.
Catholic Charities sees the powerful effects of the kind of supplemental out-of-school-time instruction and support services that A.B. 104 would provide to steer California students toward high school graduation and a path beyond generational poverty. In our work over the past 20 years operating academic and enrichment programs, and most recently in-person learning hubs, parents have told us that their children’s grades and completion of school work have been secondary to their child’s emotional improvement. The students have shared that they look forward to coming to our learning hubs. They have made new friends. They care about school.
What a difference our dedicated, multicultural staff trained in trauma-informed care have made in the lives of these students by offering them the type of supplemental instruction and support services that A.B. 104 would provide. Catholic Charities fully endorses A.B. 104 to mitigate learning loss in light of the pandemic. We also urge the Assembly to continue its vigorous redress of the systemic racism and social and health inequities that impact all Californians and especially our state’s low-income communities and communities of color. As always, Catholic Charities stands ready to work with you and the Assembly in service to our most vulnerable populations for the common good of our state.
Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties