Published On: February 2, 2022
Home>Financial Education, News, Participatory Budgeting>Hey, LA — Your Schools Can Benefit from Participatory Budgeting, Too

First For You

Why does this matter to you?

For Parents: Our world is changing for the better, and our students deserve the same. Los Angeles recently announced a citywide Participatory Budgeting program, and our kids deserve equal opportunity in their schools.

For PTAs: Looking for a way to bring financial literacy and Participatory Budgeting to your students? Take LA’s lead and introduce Participatory Budgeting, a tool that all cities and schools can benefit from.

For Principals: Participatory Budgeting is growing traction in cities, and it needs the same presence in our schools. Implementing this process can bring several life skills to your students — financial literacy, civic engagement, and more. It also benefits your schools and lets learners have a voice in their surroundings.

More About LA and Participatory Budgeting

Our founder, who introduced Participatory Budgeting to San José, CA in 2011, knows that PB is excellent in any form, including its use in official city budgets. The only problem with LA’s plans is that they don’t involve the next generation. Kids in school deserve a say in the improvements that occur within their grounds and curriculum. They need real money so that they can produce real results just as much as their parents do.

Los Angeles Introduces a Participatory Budgeting Pilot Program

Let’s take recent news as an example scenario. The City of Los Angeles recently announced a Participatory Budgeting approach for $8.5 million of their discretionary funds. The move was unanimously approved by city council, and is being trusted to boost communities that have been disproportionately affected by poverty, COIVD-19, pollution, and more.

The process will look something like this:

  • A community member has an idea for positive change and submits a proposal to the city council.
  • Neighbors vote to choose the change that they believe will benefit their area most.
  • A resident advisory committee is formed to oversee the idea as it’s put into action.

While that is more complex than the Participatory Budgeting process we use in schools, we applaud the city for engaging the community.

What About Los Angeles Schools?

At FirstRoot, we believe that every city with a PB process should offer the program to their students, too. That’s right, LA: We’d love to see this as a resource in your schools! By involving students in real money and voting processes early on, you’ll be able to create financially literate, civically engaged members of society when these kids enter adulthood.

We’re happy to help you get started. Give us a call or drop a line!