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One Teen’s Take on Public School Funding

In this post, guest blogger Ella Bramwell from The Practice Space’s Expressive Leaders Program dives into the ins and outs of public school funding in California. Ella explains why the system must change and details the successes and hiccups in her process. This is a must-read (and listen) for educators yet an approachable and engaging listen for all audiences!

Hey everyone, my name is Ella, and I am a part of the expressive leaders program at The Practice Space. This post is about my podcast, “The State of Our Education”, which talks about how public education is funded in California, with a little bit of focus on my district WCCUSD. Hopefully after reading this you will be interested enough to take a listen to my podcast! 

I’m a senior at El Cerrito High School and I live in Richmond with my mom, my cat and my dog. This is my second year in the expressive leaders program and I love it. The program has given me the chance to speak up about what I believe in, while also allowing me to do it in a way I’m comfortable with. I’m not someone who likes to stand in front of people and lecture, so being able to record myself speaking in the privacy of my own home and still be able to use my voice is perfect.

My podcast focuses on how public education is funded in California, dealing with both the history of the funding and the finding right now. I also pull examples from the district I attend. I’ve grown up in a family of teachers and public education has always been a conversation in my house. To me public education should be exactly what it’s advertised as, an education that’s equal to everyone. Right now it isn’t. Depending on what zip code you live in, your education is going to look different, which isn’t fair to us children. I believe that the state and the public should be putting as much as they possibly can into our education because we need it to succeed. 

A lot of what I spend time doing from this podcast is researching. It’s a lot of digging through legal documents finding out exactly how funding gets placed at schools, and a lot of history. And honestly I love the research part of it. Because it’s a podcast I’ve had to learn how to record myself and how to cut and edit audio which has been surprisingly really fun to learn as well. Right now what I’m working on is finalizing my second episode and getting ready to record it so I can publish it. The most difficult part has definitely been the fact that I am a master procrastinator and struggle immensely to get things done in a reasonable amount of time, but it’s all good we’re getting there. 

The hope of my project is to bring attention to the state of public education in California. Particularly I’m hoping to draw the attention of people who aren’t directly connected to schools, the people in the community who aren’t teachers/staff, or students, or administrators, because we need the entire community to care not just the direct connections. Please give my first episode a listen! You can find it on Spotify, google podcast, Breaker, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, and Anchor. Just look for “The State of Our Education”.

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