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Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson Stands Firm Against Defunding of Crucial DEI Programs in Inland Empire School Districts

For immediate release:

In the challenging landscape of school district budget decisions in the Inland Empire, school boards are targeting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs as one of the first to be defunded. Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson expresses deep concern over these developments, emphasizing the vital role of these initiatives. Dr. Jackson cautions against external radical extremists leveraging a tight budget year to undermine the significance of programs that benefit our students of color, staff, and community.

While recognizing the necessity of difficult budget choices, it's crucial that the community collectively determines these decisions. Singling out and cutting a specific program, such as DEI, is not the solution. Instead, the focus should be on a comprehensive evaluation of the various programs offered by school districts. School districts must scrutinize expenditures on extravagant events, hotel stays, conferences, and memberships that often cost millions of dollars. Fiscal responsibility demands that all aspects, particularly those lacking value for students, teachers, and the community, should be considered for potential cuts.

Amidst the challenging financial considerations faced by school districts, the upcoming special board meeting in the Perris Union High School District serves as a cautionary example of moving too hastily without allowing the community sufficient time to respond to potential cuts. Decisions on budgets should be made collaboratively, keeping the community and students in mind, particularly when contemplating cuts to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs that serve students of color, employ people of color, and provide essential tools and services for community access to public education.

Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson emphasizes the importance for all school districts and communities to stay vigilant against divisive narratives advocating for the defunding of programs designed to support marginalized and minority populations.

Some individuals, under the pretext of opposing DEI programs as "racist," aim to sow chaos and influence local policymakers to divert funding away from these crucial initiatives. Dr. Corey Jackson firmly asserts that these narratives are misguided and harmful, detracting from the positive impact DEI programs have on communities.

"Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs have proven value add to school districts and communities," states Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson. These programs consistently bring out the best in individuals and communities, providing crucial support to ensure everyone is seen and valued. Contrary to divisive narratives, DEI programs play a vital role in fostering success for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances.

It is imperative for school districts to resist succumbing to influences that seek to divide and defund programs aimed at supporting marginalized populations. Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson calls for a focus on evidence-based decision-making, highlighting the positive impact DEI programs have on creating inclusive, equitable, and successful learning environments.