California school districts should spend less on police, more on counselors, state leaders say

As some school districts in California move to dismantle their police departments, the state took a stand this week: All school districts should spend less money on police and more on counseling and other services to support students.

The move, part of the state budget agreement between the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom, comes amid a nationwide movement to overhaul police systems in the wake of a Minneapolis police officer’s murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. In cities and school districts across the country, activists are urging the dismantling of police departments that they view as racist and a source of violence in Black and Latino communities.

This week, the Los Angeles Unified board voted against defunding its police department after an emotional meeting Tuesday night, saying more study is needed; and Oakland Unified planned to vote Wednesday night on eliminating its campus police. Other districts, such as West Contra Costa Unified, have voted to sever their contracts with local city police departments. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Unified board voted to not renew its contract with the San Francisco Police Department and to direct more money to counseling and other services. Click here to read more: