AOC’s new ‘School to Prison Pipeline’ strategy for educating students about race, gender, sexuality and disability has sparked alarm from advocates, educators and parents alike, raising concerns over the potential for school closures in the state.
The strategy has the potential to impact millions of students nationwide, including many in California and New York.
AOC says the strategy will help schools provide a “safe and welcoming learning environment” and foster “positive social and educational outcomes.”
But some parents are concerned about how this new approach will affect their children, who are already grappling with their own struggles with mental health and other issues.
“I think it’s dangerous and a threat to our children,” said Tessa, a mother from Los Angeles.
“I don’t want them to be exposed to this kind of stuff.
It’s just going to make them feel like they’re doing something wrong.”
AOC Education Group CEO Michelle Beaumont told The Washington Post that the strategy is focused on increasing school access for low-income students and students of color.
The company says the new strategy will be implemented by 2021, which means it will take a little more than a year for schools to have access to the resources they need to be successful.
A majority of schools have already experienced a decline in enrollment since the initiative was launched.
According to a report by the California Department of Education, the state’s schools saw an 11 percent drop in enrollment between 2013 and 2019, a decrease that was nearly double the national average.
In California, the statewide percentage of students with disabilities decreased by 5.6 percent between 2013-2019.
A spokesperson for AOC told The Associated Press that enrollment in the company’s schools in the San Francisco Bay Area has continued to increase, though that it is too early to tell if that is related to the initiative or not.
However, the spokesperson did not provide any details about how many students in California have received their school certificates through the strategy.
A new report released by the National Center for Educational Statistics in May revealed that nearly 50 percent of students in the United States are living in poverty.
Nearly 22 million students are in school-aged children in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
A recent report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness revealed that one in five students is diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetimes.
According the American Psychological Association, “a person with a psychiatric disorder is more likely to experience problems with their social, academic, occupational, and/or health functioning, as well as to have serious health conditions.”