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Rishi Kumar: Advancing Educational Equality, Beyond Race-Based Affirmative Action

For far too long, we have looked at the educational disparity problem through the lens of Affirmative action. I support the Supreme Court’s ruling on Affirmative Action in college admissions.

My policy stance rejects the limitations of race-based Affirmative Action and focuses on combating educational disparity via the following

  1. Economic discrimination within our education system and the evident economic disparities across society need to be addressed. I advocate for a more inclusive and effective plan that tackles the root causes of educational inequality. By addressing socioeconomic factors and implementing comprehensive solutions, we aim to create a fair and equitable educational landscape for all students.
  2. We need to look at underserved communities to build a robust K-12 educational offering. It necessitates the willingness from the state government to enhance funding and monitor learning outcomes. To ensure equitable funding in schools, the state has to implement a funding formula which aims to provide additional financial support to underserved school districts, including the opportunity to emphasize STEM education. We should also promote proactive involvement of local school districts and county funding.
  3. We should also provide high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity to enroll in a vocational program that aligns with the local economy, offering skills that are in demand. During their enrollment, students can simultaneously earn a high school diploma and college credits without any financial burden. Upon completing their high school diploma, these students should be given the chance to obtain a vocational program advanced diploma without a financial burden, enabling them to pursue a career and establish a pathway towards a college degree in the future. This approach aims to equip students with practical skills that can lead to gainful employment while also providing a roadmap for their future educational advancement.

I was opposed to Proposition 16 on the 2020 ballot and any potential reversal of Proposition 209. As we know, Prop 16 failed. This proposition aimed to negate Proposition 209, also known as the California Civil Rights Initiative or CCRI. Passed by the voters of California in 1996, Proposition 209 effectively amended the state constitution, prohibiting state governmental institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in public employment, public contracting, and public education. My position remains consistent in supporting the principles set forth by Proposition 209 and maintaining its intended impact.

In 2014, Rishi Kumar captured a compelling video documenting a peaceful protest held outside Cupertino City Hall. The gathering was a demonstration against State Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA 5), highlighting the collective concern and opposition to the proposed measure. This video serves as a powerful reminder of the commitment and engagement of individuals who joined together to voice their dissent and advocate for a more inclusive and equitable society. By capturing the essence of the protest, Rishi Kumar's video exemplifies the importance of civic participation and the power of community mobilization in shaping public discourse and policy decisions.

Empowering Youth: Rishi Kumar's Vision for Economic Opportunities

As a passionate advocate for the educational advancement of disadvantaged youth, my efforts have centered around fostering equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race. By organizing Shelter-in-Place coding sessions, Entrepreneurship Bootcamps, and Lego Robotics Boot camps, I have had the privilege of providing invaluable STEM learning experiences to over 2,000 students hailing from underprivileged communities, particularly in areas such as San Jose and East Palo Alto. These programs have been instrumental in equipping young minds with the necessary skills and knowledge for a successful future.

In recognition of my expertise and dedication, I was appointed to the esteemed CA Dept of Education Computer Science Strategic Implementation Panel. Collaborating with fellow professionals, I played a significant role in developing the K-12 Computer Science Curriculum for California's public schools, a groundbreaking initiative set to launch in 2022. This curriculum aims to empower students with comprehensive computer science education, thus preparing them to thrive in the digital age.

Furthermore, my commitment to uplifting Silicon Valley youth has manifested through the establishment of summer Internship programs since 2015. By providing internship opportunities within the vibrant tech industry, I have opened doors for countless students to gain hands-on experience and broaden their horizons. Last summer alone, over a thousand students enthusiastically participated in my internship program, further solidifying my conviction in the potential of our youth.

In essence, I firmly believe that investing in the education and well-being of our youth is paramount, as they hold the key to our nation's future. However, when it comes to the SCA and ACA-5, I find it difficult to support these measures. While I understand the intention behind these policies, I believe they may not truly serve the best interests of California's disadvantaged youth. In fact, there is a possibility that such measures could inadvertently hinder their progress. It is vital that we pursue alternative approaches that prioritize empowering our youth through comprehensive education and genuine opportunities for growth and success.