Armed School Resource Officers and the Safety of California’s Black and Latine(x) Youth: Policies and Recommendations

Larissa Cursaro, D Azarmi, Kelsey Perez and Carlos Flores

The Problem

Students of color, disabled students, and disempowered students are targeted and victimized by School Resource Officers (SROs). Students of color are subjected to violence and arrests by SROs, creating lasting harm in their lives, and further sustaining the school-to-prison pipeline. Much like with community law enforcement, studies suggest that SROs have been disproportionately policing schools in the United States. One study concludes that Black students are much more likely to feel vulnerable to being victimized by violence in schools with stationed armed officers compared to their peers (Lacoe 2015). A detailed report released last year found that Black students were recipients of violence in 84% of campus incidents involving police officers in schools, while only making up 15% of public school enrollment (Advancement Project 2022). This trend remains consistent when analyzing the statistics of SRO presence in California. 

Quantifying/Qualifying the Problem

The Civil Rights Data Collection done by the U.S. Department of Education shows that students of color are especially vulnerable to police violations and arrests (Off. for Civ. Rts 2017). Similar research confirms that Black students are three times as likely to be referred to law enforcement compared to that of white students (Off. for Civ. Rts 2017). While Black students make up 6% of California enrollment, they make up approximately 15% of student arrests. Latino boys make up 28% of California students but represent 44% of student arrests (Off. for Civ. Rts 2017).

In California, 62% of school districts allowed staff to call the police to handle “school rule violations” and behavioral misconduct (ACLU 2021). While concerning state-wide, this trend manifests locally, as well. According to data released by the Fresno Unified School District, Black students made up about 17% of all SRO arrests on public school campuses, even though they only make up about 8% of the student body (Fresno CPR 2022). In Victor Valley Union High School, Black students were the recipients of harsher and longer punishments than their white peers, which decreased the quality and amount of time spent in classrooms (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, and U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division 2023). A study done by the U.S. Department of Education shows that Black girls in public schools are four times more likely to be arrested by SROs than their white peers, making them one of the most vulnerable groups on school campuses (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights 2018). 

In some cases, school administration and staff members call on SROs to address bullying issues, especially when parents feel their concerns are being overlooked by the school (Devlin, Rennó Santos, Gottfredson 2018). However, SROs are not equipped to handle student conflict appropriately, which can often lead to a child being referred for disorderly conduct (Whitaker, Cob, Leung, Nelson 2021). Many of the intervention strategies and interactions between SROs and students are hostile which can have long-lasting psychological and physiological effects on the body (Washington, Hazelton 2023). Practices such as unwarranted searches, detection dogs, pepper spraying, handcuffing, and excessive force are considered correctional and damage the student’s trust and feelings of safety with the SROs (Washington et al. 2023).


The historical development of policing in the United States, its entanglement in schools and its roots in racial domination and hierarchy is a vital context for understanding how current policies have manifested. 

The institution of policing was constructed through the implementation of “Slave Patrols” in the South, dating back to the 1700’s (Lepore 2020). The purpose of the Southern patrollers at that time was exclusively to capture and return runaway slaves; a concept implemented by white men to reinforce institutional power.  Within this reality lies the connection between the institution of policing and the maintenance of “social order” that is dependent upon the criminalization and demonization of Black and Latine(x) people as a means of maintaining racial hierarchies (NAACP 2020). This is evident in the disproportionate impacts of most aspects of policing on Black and Latine(x) communities, from arrests to searches and seizures, charges, and even death at the hands of police. 

After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement brought attention to the criminalization of Black people. Many other organizations and communities stood alongside the Black Lives Matter movement and demanded police reform. These nationwide protests created an opportunity to confront our nation’s history rooted in white supremacy and to advocate for empowerment for all. This movement towards policing reform was not confined to police officers patrolling streets but expanded to evaluate the presence of police officers in schools. According to the United States Department of Justice, a School Resource Officer (SRO) is a “sworn law enforcement officer responsible for safety and crime prevention in schools.” These officers work with school district personnel in an attempt to foster safer environments in their respective schools. SROs, much like police officers, have the ability “to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents that occur within their jurisdiction” to achieve this goal (U.S. Department of Justice 2023).

SRO programs first appeared in the United States during the 1950s, in response to the integration of schools and Black Migration to northern and southwestern states (Lindberg 2015). One such example is the Oakland Unified School District, which included an SRO presence during and after World War II (McBride 2020). However, the inclusion of SROs did not become commonplace nationwide until the late 1990s, after the U.S. saw an increase in gun violence on school campuses. Media-driven fearmongering surrounding school shootings spread panic among students and parents which led to greater support for SRO placements in their communities (Burns and Crawford 1999). After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, national leaders and parents continued to support SRO placements in hopes of preventing similar events from reoccurring. Since 2013, there have been 245 school shootings in the United States (Cox and Rich 2023). With the pleadings of many community members, advocates, and local leaders, SROs quickly became the answer to ensuring the safety of children at school (The School Policing Research to Policy Collaborative and The Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition 2021). However—much like with community law enforcement—some studies suggest that SROs have been unjustly policing schools in the United States. One study suggests that Black students are much more likely to feel vulnerable to being victimized by violence in schools with stationed armed officers compared to their peers (Lacoe 2015). Furthermore, there is also little evidence to suggest that SROs are vital to preventing school-based violence and shootings. Between 1999 and 2018, for example, deaths and injuries were about 2.5 times higher in schools where an SRO was present (Mowen 2020).

Beyond the root of racism within policing, there are important intersections between the carceral and judicial systems that are driven by the existence of police. The aforementioned similarities in the definition and purpose of an SRO pose a serious concern for developing youth. These officers are trained to control the general public yet they are responsible for regulating a nurturing learning environment. SROs are not only deputized with the ability to charge students with offenses that can permanently impact their criminal records, but they embody the selectively oppressive reality that many disadvantaged students fear outside of their school campus. There is a direct correlation between the students that the police victimize and those who end up trapped in the criminal justice system (Burns et al. 1999). 

Having often received the same training as regular police officers—with no additional training in working with youth—SROs are indoctrinated to use force and intimidation tactics rather than de-escalate situations.  By relying on force and intimidation, rather than trying to calmly use non-violent methods, the cycle of violence continues. The framework police and SROs adhere to is psychologically antithetical to the recommended methods of working with youth, especially the “at-risk” populations that SROs most frequently target. Police presence in schools leads to increased exclusion from the classroom and criminalization of students, especially those of color. When schools rely on school police, they contribute to school pushout and the school-to-prison pipeline while creating an overall negative learning environment (NWLC 2021). 

Policy Objectives 

Our goal is to create an environment where all students can experience school safety and be provided with the support they need to thrive. Since school safety is a layered issue, it is important to define what a safe school environment looks like. According to the American Institute for Research, school safety refers to the feeling of protection that people experience when they are in a place of learning that is free of danger (Diaz-Vicario and Sallán 2017). In addition, school safety includes “both the freedom from bodily infringement or harm and the freedom for physical, emotional, and social safety, i.e., the creation and upkeep of spaces where all students can be authentically themselves” (Arizona Department of Education 2020). 

Status Quo: Regulations to Ensure SRO Standards 

To be hired as a School Resource Officer (SRO) in the state of California, each individual must complete specialized training approved by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs and in consultation with The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) (National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments; State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training 2023). While this creates a statewide standard determining how SROs must act, it does not create a statewide standard regarding each specific program. This training solely discusses how SROs should respond to different behavioral issues–such as distinguishing between in-class disruptions compared to some more violent concerns such as weapons on campus. Thus, SRO programs are very personalizable to the school district in which they patrol, allowing both the district office and local police departments to decide how to fulfill the needs of the student body. Funding for SRO programs is also determined by the local governments, with many districts opting to split the funding between the local police department, the school district, or the city budget (Cross et al. 2022). This allows for the local community to decide the size of the SRO program on their public school campuses, creating flexibility and customization depending on the specific situations of each community. 

Alternative 1: Reform: Standardize SRO Contracts and Training
One of the greatest challenges with attempting to modify the behavior of individual SROs is that contracts vary between districts and schools; in some instances, officers at the same school can be under different contracts (EKU 2023). The most direct way to address the problematic variance observed in officer behavior is to create universal basic principles, purpose, and objectives for SROs through standardized contracts and training. This could lead to the creation of universal roles, and responsibilities, and set expectations of best practices.

It must be acknowledged that reforming the purpose and general focus of SROs is difficult because they are often trained and managed by police departments. Generally, attempting to modify behaviors and decrease bias with training for officers is challenging, but can reduce arrest rates if sustained, which is of primary concern when it comes to SRO infractions impacting students’ permanent records (National Policing Institute 2023). Reform should include a training component with standardized modules that include youth-focused training on de-escalation, mental health support, and positive reinforcement practices. Further, requiring that officers report instances of physical interaction with students and investigating excessively repeated encounters with specific students are additional accountability measures that should be standardized. Finally, requiring a college education for officers who will work as SROs can be an additional step to decrease the likelihood that officers may respond with physical force or aggression toward students (Rosenfeld, Johnson, and Wright 2018).

Alternative 2: Divest and Invest 

In California, School Resource Officers are funded through a variety of mechanisms, which can include school budgets, contracts with local police departments, federal and local grants, and other local sources of funding. California Education Code § 38000 states that a school district may establish security departments, also known as police departments, to ensure the safety of school personnel and students. Currently, California Education Code § 38000 provides no mandate as to how California Schools should allocate their funds, as this is mostly done at the local school district level. We propose that this code be amended to mandate school districts to divest in School Resource Officers and re-invest in their mental health support resources at a level in which both are equal to each other. In addition, the interventions we will propose local school districts to invest in will consist of interventions for students in need of mental or behavioral support, individual and group therapy as well as connected systems of support within their respective schools and communities provided by counselors, social workers, mentors, and advisors, among others (Cowan, Vaillancourt, Rossen, and Pollitt 2013). Moreover, it is crucial that these supports not only address students’ needs but also create an equitable learning environment geared toward students’ academic success, regardless of race or physical ability. 

Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code § 38000, Ca. Educ. Code § 38001, Ca. Educ. Code § 38001.5 

Currently, California law allows school districts to establish a security department under the direction of the superintendent (California Education Code § 38000). The governing board of a school district may establish a school police department and employ peace officers to ensure the safety of schools. By repealing California Education Codes §38000, §38001, and §38001.5, the state would prevent school districts from establishing police departments and would abolish police presence in schools statewide. The repeal of these three California Education Codes would be a powerful first step into achieving transformative and racial justice within schools, allowing school districts to invest in students’ education, student development, and after-school programs. Such programs support communities of color and ensure that they thrive. Rather than giving police departments more opportunity to cause physical and mental harm to students of color, repealing California Education Codes §38000, §38001, and §38001.5 would allow schools to decide how to protect students’ well-being and safety.

Criteria and Analysis
Policy alternatives will be rated from 1 to 5—with 1 representing a low ranking and 5 representing an excellent ranking—using the following criteria:

  1. Effectiveness: Does the policy meet the policy objectives by preventing the police from mentally and physically harming Black and Latine(x) students? 
  2. Equity: How does the policy ensure that all students’ needs are prioritized, especially those who are a part of historically marginalized communities? 
  3. Political Feasibility: Given how much money the California state budget is allocated for the police, can we mobilize enough partners to support the policy’s passing and implementation? 

Project Outcomes, Analyze Alternatives & Confront Tradeoffs

Criteria 1: Effectiveness
Status Quo1
Policy Alternative 1: Standardize SRO Contracts and Training3
Policy Alternative 2: Invest In Well-being4
Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code 4

Status Quo

Currently, there is no standardization of various structural aspects to on-campus resource officers. The entities which fund these programs as well as the amount of officers per capita are decided on the local level, without much guidance from the state government. While this allows for flexibility for each community to decide the number of officers it needs in its public schools, it also leaves the responsibility of equity up to the good faith of each program, leaving the possibility for unchecked prejudice. This lack of standardization of equity-driven regulations and standards also allows for different districts to retain different forms of punishment, such as the zero-tolerance policies which have been proven to disproportionately punish Black and Latine(x) students subsequently removing them from educational spaces. This lack of a state-wide equity-driven standard also allows for different schools to instill different preventative forms of punishment—such as drug dogs and metal detectors, among others—which turn educational spaces into those that mirror carceral spaces. 

In California, there is very little emphasis on race and ethnicity in SRO training. Thus, the prevention of mental and physical harm inflicted on Black and Latine(x) students by SROs is not a standardized priority, statewide. As illustrated by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), students who receive punitive responses to disruptions, much like those encouraged by current SRO training, miss the necessary class time which not only leaves them unprepared for life in secondary school, but also increases their likelihood of falling victim to the school-to-prison pipeline. The lack of equity-driven standards for SROs in California would only continue to perpetuate this cycle of incarceration for Black and Latine(x) youth, leading to the further and long-term destabilization of their communities across the state.

Policy Alternative 1: Standardize SRO Contracts and Training

While standardizing training, job duties, and contracts would have direct impacts on officers, there are no guarantees about the longevity of the outcomes of “advanced” training nor of accountability measures, such as disciplinary action, to uphold agreements or duties outlined in standardized job descriptions. Due to contracts being held at the county level, counties would likely be in charge of seeing through the implementation of training as well as the reporting and tracking necessary to reprimand officers who are not performing satisfactorily nor reward those who excel. These limitations create a vacuum in which the true effectiveness of these measures is largely undefined and inherently difficult to quantify. While state-level reform would be ideal, it is far less politically feasible and thus cannot be effectively implemented. 

Further, the deeper roots of having police enforcing the law instead of mental health professionals supporting students’ well-being in schools permeate far below the surfaces these reforms can scratch. Environmental factors show us that the kids who fear police the most are the most frequently victimized by them – dynamics that are typically defined far before students enter environments where SROs are present, despite continuing to affect all students (Fine et al. 2022). With both personal and societal root causes compounding against Black and Latine(x) students, who are already the most marginalized and targeted in schools, it is evident that simple procedural reform is less than optimal in terms of impact. Contractual reform has underwhelming impacts when compared with the benefits of reframing and reinvesting programming related to student well-being based on needs (Momeni, Adukia, Feigenberg  2022).

Policy Alternative 2: Invest in Well-being

School Resource Officer spending in California is hard to track, which stems from the shared responsibility of funding SROs by law enforcement agencies, school districts, states, and federal grant programs, as well as the lack of information on SRO presence in schools (Sorensen, Avila-Acosta 2022). In addition, SROs are not required to register in national databases, nor are police departments or schools required to report the number of SROs they employ, making it challenging to have an exact count of SROs (Connery 2023). However, research that combined the number of SROs as reported to the CRDC with the annual mean wages of police and sheriff’s patrol officers by state from the 2017 wave of the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was able to approximate that total nationwide spending for SROs is $2.62 billion in inflation-adjusted 2023 dollars(Avila-Acosta, Sorensen 2023).

Using this proxy, in California alone, the per-pupil spending on SROs is $37.03 per student (Avila-Acosta et al. 2023). Re-allocating even half of these funds into mental health services would translate to around $115,348,487 in total gains (Civil Rights Data Collection 2023). These funds could then be used to increase the number of counselors, school psychologists, and other mental health professionals that could help serve students in retention efforts, the promotion of re-specialization and professional retraining of existing mental health providers, and help increase the diversity and cultural linguistic competency of school-based mental health providers (U.S Department of Education 2023).   If we use the scope of police presence in schools as a metric for the number of school-based arrests, then a 50% reduction could potentially lead to a decrease in 4,750 school-based arrests (Civil Rights Data Collection 2017). In addition, given that the total loss in lifetime earnings for formerly imprisoned people is $484,400 and $98,800 for those convicted but not imprisoned, then the potential economic gains in a 50% reduction rate are vast (Brennan Center For Justice 2020). By implementing this policy statewide, California could increase the economic gains in both student’s lifetime earn

Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code 

Research has shown the police in schools disproportionately harm students of color which escalates anxiety, creates a sense of distrust between peers, and reinforces negative relationships between students, school officials, and the police. By repealing California Education Codes § 38000, § 38001, and § 38001.5, this policy will reduce the mental and physical risks of having police officers in schools. Instead of punishment, the statewide elimination of School Resource Officers would promote anti-racist policies that allow us to reimagine safety practices that are conducive to nurturing environments for students. The only way to prevent marginalized communities on school campuses from being harassed by police is to mandate a policy that will make it illegal for them to operate on school grounds. This policy uses an abolitionist framework that requires society to reimagine the system.

Some cities in California have already implemented SRO removal from their school districts. In 2020, the Black Organizing Project (BOP) successfully won a decade-long battle for the removal of SROs in Oakland schools. In 2021, a student-led coalition was successful in convincing the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education to reduce its $70 million police department budget to $25 million so that it could reinvest its money into youth programs. 

Criteria 2: Equity
Status Quo1
Policy Alternative 1: Standardize SRO Contracts and Training3
Policy Alternative 2: Invest In Well-being5
Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code 4

Status Quo

The current policy does not ensure that all students’ needs are prioritized. The required SRO training lacks the language these students need for success and empowerment while ignoring the current observed phenomena impacting the lives of Black and Latine(x) students, such as the school-to-prison pipeline and forced absenteeism. This training is so separated from serving the youth that, according to California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board, “the National Association for School Resource Officers (NASRO), raises concerns about officers that are not specifically trained to work with youth responding to schools.”  This illustrates how SRO training results in officers who are ill-prepared to work with youth, regardless of their race and ethnicity (Kirby 2020). Thus, the current policy not only fails Black and Latine(x) students by not acknowledging their unique needs, it fails all students by inadequately training SRO officers to respond to situations involving youth regardless of their ethnic or racial background.

Policy Alternative 1: Standardize SRO Contracts and Training

Modifying SRO contracts and updating training will alleviate the burden on Black and Latine(x) students. Modifications to job descriptions, general duties, and the philosophical orientation of SROs present on campuses will benefit all students. Shifting the focus of SROs from enforcing the law to serving as mentors to students will create new goals for relationship building and emphasize engaging with students in more nurturing ways (Curran et al. 2019).  Further, discouraging SROs from engaging in discipline entirely and leaning into mentorship such as serving as liaisons to administrators is recommended. This shift would positively impact the psychological development of all students, not just those who are disproportionately targeted by SROs. Research suggests that SROs have an inverse relationship with students obeying legal authority, so the spillover benefits could extend beyond the classroom leading to students who are more likely to be law-abiding citizens and who pursue higher education (Fine et al. 2022). 

Two of the main areas of training for SROs include implicit bias and de-escalation; both of which have positive externalities for all campus members. For example, having officers pledge to equity agreements re-centers the needs of Black and Latine(x) students while benefiting all students by prompting SROs to prioritize de-escalation rather than punitive measures. Additionally, removing any quotas that might be included in contracts disincentivizes officers from excessively monitoring or provoking students. Studies show that students who have been punished by SROs are less likely to return to school and more likely to end up involved in the criminal justice system (Aizer, Doyle 2015). It is in the interest of all members of society to decrease the number of students arrested by SROs, as the negative impacts of youth becoming justice-involved impact not only fellow students but all community members

Policy Alternative 2: Invest in Well-being

Although the gains in this policy alternative—as outlined in the effectiveness criteria—focus on improving the equitable outcomes for students of color, the gains and benefits in alternative three are not limited solely to these. This phenomenon is known as the curb-cut effect, which illustrates the outsize benefits that accrue to everyone from policies and investments designed to achieve equity. Disabled students and students with mental health needs—who also face disproportionate police violence in schools—will benefit from a decreased police presence. In addition, no total loss in school budget or employment disparities in local districts will be faced, as funds will not be decreasing but budgeting allocation will be diverted in other proportions. 

Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code

Research has shown that Black and Latine(x) students are disproportionately affected in California schools (Nelson, Leung, Cobb 2017). Whereas the status quo policy puts school districts and police departments at the forefront of the issue, this alternative would center youth and provide more resources supporting student development. This policy would allow teachers and school administration to be the sole, authoritative figure on school campuses, allowing them to build stronger bonds with students. By implementing a new behavioral framework for youth that is preventive and culturally sensitive, we will set them up for a more equitable education. 

In some California school districts, teachers and administrative staff agree that there should be less money spent on the police and more on counseling to support students’ well-being (Jones 2020). With this policy, school districts will have more money to invest in student development and social programs as their contracts with police departments will be dissolved. This alternative would align with our goal of implementing anti-racist policies that focus on restorative processes rather than punitive consequences. 

Criteria 3: Political Feasibility
Status Quo5
Policy Alternative 1: Standardize SRO Contracts and Training4
Policy Alternative 2: Invest In Well-being2
Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code 3

Status Quo

Since there is a lack of overarching standardization regarding how SRO programs are instituted and funded, each community has the freedom to specialize its program to fit its perceived needs. This allows for flexibility for each community to decide who funds the program, how many officers are present, and if they decide to have an SRO at all. Thus, the status quo is very attractive politically–it gives communities the freedom to determine the most advantageous programs for their students while disregarding the needs of Black and Latine(x) youth. Regardless of partisanship, the current policies ensure that communities make decisions aligning with their political leanings. Furthermore, the current standard has been in place since 2001 and has yet to be challenged successfully, only adding to its likelihood of gaining support in the future.

Policy Alternative 1: Standardize SRO Contracts and Training

Reforming policy is often the most politically feasible and thus most pursued avenue. The spectrum of feasible reform varies greatly state by state, with California holding far more potential than most. The following core recommendations are highly feasible and could easily be enacted at the state level to trickle down and frame county contracts and desired outcomes. 

There is a general movement to streamline officers around standardized training through the NASRO’s 40-hour training. The next recommended step in deepening universal training would be to require all officers to complete the Adolescent Mental Health Training for School Resource Officers and Educators (AMHT), which is an additional 24-hour training that “helps School Resource Officers and school personnel better identify and respond to students who are suspected of having mental health needs.” Additionally, training specific to building trust and relationship building is extremely beneficial and increases overall success rates of officers achieving desired outcomes. Beyond detecting imminent threats or students’ need for support, for SROs to be successful they must have the capacity and the tenacity to connect with students on a deeper level.

Policy Alternative 2: Invest in Well-being

At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, the national outrage resulting from the murder of George Floyd and the increased police violence caused a surge in the call for police to be “defunded.” During this time, there were numerous policy implementations that managed to successfully decrease police budgets in local departments. Although the proposed alternative “Invest in Well Being” does not advocate for the downsizing of police departments, being able to briefly review the result of some of these efforts can give us some insight into the political feasibility of this alternative. 

Taking a look at the city of Oakland, the rise in support for the “defund” movement coincided with a critical time in Oakland PD’s budget vote. In June 2020, the city voted to create a task force to reimagine public safety and also reduced OPD’s budget by 50%, with savings reinvested in the community. However, one year later, public support for the cuts reversed with Oakland’s police chief and mayor, stating that crime was “out of control.” In addition, numerous Bay Area school districts had voted to reduce SRO presence in schools during 2020, but also similarly reversed these decisions in coming years, citing pushback from parents. De-investment gains in this arena have been minimal if any. 

Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code 

In the wake of an increase in police violence, many school districts in California have advocated for policies that would eliminate SROs from their campuses. National reckoning has allowed us to examine the white supremacist and racist ideologies that are embodied by police officers. Movement building and local organizing are central to challenging the status quo and current political narratives that dominate our society. In this political landscape, we need now more than ever to address police brutality, especially among youth. School curriculum teaches students that police officers are there to help protect them and their peers, however, research has shown that many Black and Latine(x) students do not feel safe when they are present on school grounds. Various student-led organizations are key players in this policy objective and already are contributing to change. School boards may have reservations, out of concerns that they cannot handle most student misconduct. However, if the policy is implemented, there will be specific programs with professionals who are equipped to handle a variety of issues that students face. 

Sadly, many districts across the country have seen that the removal of SROs has not implemented meaningful changes for students. With increased gun-related violence on school campuses that our nation’s leaders still cannot remedy, many districts across the country are reinstating their SRO programs. There needs to be more data and information available to determine why programs are being reinstated and what effect this is having on youth. 


Project Outcomes based on Effectiveness, Equity, and Political Feasibility
PolicyScoresTotal Rank
Status QuoEffectiveness: 1Equity: 1Political Feasibility: 54
Policy Alternative 1: StandardizeSRO Contracts and TrainingEffectiveness: 3Equity: 3Political Feasibility: 43
Policy Alternative 2: Invest InWell-beingEffectiveness: 4Equity: 5Political Feasibility: 22
Policy Alternative 3: RepealCalifornia Education CodeEffectiveness: 4Equity: 4Political Feasibility: 31

Upon reviewing each policy alternative through the lens of these three criteria, this analysis concludes that pursuing Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code is likely to best align the needs of many stakeholders while producing the best outcomes in terms of meeting the academic, mental, and physical needs of Black and Latine(x) youth who attend public schools in California. 

These laws and education codes impact students and the implications of this recommendation will vary, depending on the geopolitical scope of the area in which it is being adopted. For example, as noted previously, momentum to decrease police presence and invest in mental health has already begun in liberal-leaning parts of California. We expect that such areas of California will be more likely to adapt this law with less pushback and higher levels of successful implementation of the funds to its intended resources (mental health resources, counseling, school support). However, more-conservative areas of California may see more pushback from political leaders, and the implementation of this policy may not translate to its intended outcomes. One such possibility being the risk that rather than using the increased funds for mental health resources, districts may not choose to reinvest into better learning environments for Black and Latine(x) youth. While possibly politically contentious, Policy Alternative 3: Repeal California Education Code advocates for the safe and welcoming learning environment necessary for an empowering learning environment for California’s Black and Latine(x) youth. As the state continues to look inward to mitigate disenfranchisement and oppression, repealing Education Codes §38000, §38001, and §38001.5 would be one step towards a brighter future for all Californians, regardless of race and ethnicity.   


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