Our communities in the southeast cities of Los Angeles
have been ignored by the LAUSD for far too long.

1. Less than 20% of students in District 5 enroll in AP or Honors Courses.

2. Our English Language Learners have low rates of reclassification.

3. Fewer students attend a four-year college or university.

About Us - Organizing for Better Schools

We're a group of local college and university students from this neighborhood committed to K-12 quality education.

In Los Angeles, SFER has tackled key issues like:

  • Ensuring proper implementation of A-G college preparatory courses needed for high school graduation and admittance to a four-year college or university, and
  • Leading advocacy efforts at the state level for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – additional funding for local school districts aimed at increasing the quality of education for low-income, foster care and English Learner students.

All kids deserve a great education, and all families deserve great school choices. We need a board member, who understands our communities and can address our students’ needs.

We've Endorsed Ref Rodriguez

For LAUSD School Board, District 5

About Ref Rodriguez

With Ref’s commitment to serve all families, we can make progress in lowering the disproportionately high dropout rates for low-income students and help students become college and career ready.

His track record speaks for itself:

  • He has founded and run 14 award-winning public schools.
  • He is committed to putting the needs of students and parents first.
  • He believes in smaller class sizes and more arts and music education.
  • He is first in his family to attend college.

On May 19th, Dr. Ref Rodriguez will be our choice!

Dr. Ref Rodriguez
“As college students from LA who care about having quality schools for all kids, we decided to support Ref Rodriguez for the LAUSD District 5 board seat. Ref has decades of experience founding and supporting great schools, regardless of whether they are public charters or traditional district schools. All kids deserve a great education, and all families deserve great school choices."

Adriana Navarro

South Gate resident and senior at Cal State Dominguez Hills

Who We Are

We are local students committed to improving local schools

Jafet Diego

From El Monte, South El Monte, Rosemead. Senior at Whittier College.

The communities that I grew up in have a lot of immigrants, a lot parents who don’t speak English, and students who are English Learners. When you have communities that are not empowered and can’t really be engaged things go wrong. I don’t want other students to have to go through what I went through. I want to help change that narrative for younger students and make sure that people who are usually not brought to the table and part of the conversation are included. When I hear people and politicians say that Latinos don’t vote and that young people don’t care, those comments really hurt because I’m a young Latina and I care about my community.

Ryan Ahari

From Irvine, Orange. Senior at UCLA.

Before UCLA, I was part of my school’s student government council at the state level – recognized by the State of California for community colleges. My first SFER project was an LAUSD sit-in, where we camped outside and spoke to the School Board about the importance of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to ensure that inner city schools get more funding, and to make sure that LAUSD is being held accountable and that it’s investing where kids need that money the most. We also pushed for student representation on the LAUSD Board.

Michael Frew

From Westwood. Junior at UCLA.

I chose a student-based activist group that goes out there probably looking for the same things that I’m looking for. I wanted a group that was interested in the policy aspect of shaping the institution. Through SFER I’ve learned that you can study about how policy affects a community in this one way, but to actually be able to walk in this community gives you a new perspective. For me, the connection was seeing how even though you look at a neighborhood as part of a demographic or as having specific beliefs, when you go door-to-door you’re really seeing a bunch of individuals that may be seeing themselves as neighbors, but not part of a community, so it’s kind of like a neighborhood of itself and not for itself.

Hugo Garrido-Ruiz

From Boyle Heights, Downtown. Junior at UC Riverside.

I am involved in order to advocate on behalf of my community for long-term changes in education that are impactful. I am invested in this movement because I have brothers who are in public schools and I see how they struggle in the system. I feel that I can’t just be in an environment where I am benefiting and have advantages, and not do anything to help them. When I canvass communities to create awareness about education issues, I find that most voters want to see sudden change. In reality that’s not what happens. Change takes time and in the education system, it takes time to see the benefits. Doing this work makes it possible for residents to see commitment.

Raul Corral Montenegro

From the Maywood-Bell Community. Masters student at USC.

Going into the Educational Counseling profession and gaining practical experience in community mobilizing and civic engagement...I felt like the two went hand-in-hand because as community college counselors you encounter a lot of people coming out of the K-12 system with not the best experiences -- not the best education, and I’m looking at the K-12 educational system and wanting to make a difference. As a canvasser for SFER, I used my interpersonal skills to just talk to people as a member of their community. I started off by saying that I was a college student, but it was through that conversation that we got to know one another. I talked about the issues that affect us both and the community as a whole. I felt like what opened the door is that I am a college student giving back to the community.