ELK GROVE, Calif — Governor Gavin Newsom visited Miwok Village Elementary School in Elk Grove to announce the state's multi-billion dollar investment into the public education system.
Gov. Newsom, joined by First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Senator Angelique Ashby, and Assemblymember Stephanie Nguyen, announced an effort to ensure all kids in the state have access to quality education, safety, healthy meals and mental health care.
"Universal school meals, ensuring that no child goes hungry with two free meals in a day. Through farm to school, we're making sure those meals are fresh and nutritious and delicious, locally sourced," said Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
This is through the state's $4.1 billion community school investment that focuses on making sure parents and students are fully involved in having the best education possible.
"No school system in America, requires more parental engagement and local control than the state of California. That is a point of pride and it's a point of privilege for me to make that point," said Gov. Newsom.
Even with the governor's push, dozens of parents gathered at the Capitol to express their disappointment with the state's education system.
"You're trying to shut parents up. It's not going to work," said Sonja Shaw, a Chino Valley Unified School District board member.
Just a few weeks ago, the Chino Valley Unified School District approve a new policy that would require parents to notify staff if their child requests to identify with a different gender than what is on their birth certificate. When it comes to transgender students and the LGBTQ community, these parents say they want to control how these topics are brought up to their children.
"It's not that we hate anybody. We don't want people's certain people's ideologies or anybody's, just like you wouldn't want me to teach your kid Christianity, Catholics and be a Jew, any of that. You want to raise your kid and that's all we're asking for," said parent Gil Tejada.
ABC10 brought these concerns to the governor's attention but he continued to emphasize that parents do have the control.
"It's just so profoundly ignorant that they've been ginned up by outside agitators, perhaps as a combo of this. And I'm deeply empathetic," he said.
AB 5 is one of the bills some parents have a problem with. It's the Safe and Supportive Schools Act that would allow LGBTQ cultural competency training for teachers. That bill is currently in the senate.
Another investment the state is offering will be a career savings account. It will be opened for every low-income public school student with a $500-$1,500 seed deposit with the hopes of developing financial literacy. The California Department of Education has a program called CalKids.