CUSD plans take shape to address achievement gaps Equity leadership funding in question

photo by Leslie Layton
Parents demonstrate for equity outside a Board of Education meeting after the suspension of Rosedale equity lead Joana Campos Castañeda.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Aug. 2

While Chico Unified’s school board finalizes a budget for the coming year, it also has approved a plan for using state funds to address academic achievement gaps.

Parents and educators, however, said as recently as school board meetings in late June that their requests for improving the district’s approach to equity for all students have gone unanswered.

The board approved an adjusted plan for the 2021-2022 academic year to address gaps in reading and writing among students of color, particularly English learners, at all grade levels, as part of the Local Control Accountability Plan process. (The LCAP involves the district’s plan for using state funding to identify areas of need and tackle learning obstacles.) The school board agreed to designate a so-called “equity lead” on every campus to handle diversity events and discussions. read more

Parents and professors: Reinstate vice principal, commit to equity Chico Unified grapples with equity issues in wake of Rosedale suspension

photo by Karen Laslo
Protesters outside a May 18 CUSD Board of Trustees meeting.

by Natalie Hanson
posted May 22

Following the suspension of a Rosedale Elementary assistant vice principal, families around Chico are calling on Chico Unified School District (CUSD) and the school board to not only reverse the decision, but to also take action on equity.

Joana Campos Castañeda, known as Joana Campos at Rosedale, was placed on leave last month and alleged she was told that her methods as an assigned equity lead were not appropriate for the school.

Since the decision, many parents and some Chico State educators have stepped forward to rally on Castañeda’s behalf and petition district leaders to commit to furthuring equity. A Chico State attorney has filed a complaint against the district on behalf of his Rosedale child, arguing that CUSD lacks “clearly defined procedures with respect to equity programs.” read more