Roxanne Alejandre joined Public Advocates a few months ago as a volunteer attorney on the Education Team. As you will read, when Roxanne isn’t volunteering her time to advance education equity she spends time with her family.
Thanks for all of your work Roxanne!
Q: Why did you decide to join Public Advocates?
Roxanne: Public Advocates embodies my social justice vision of lawyering and commitment to education equity. I am deeply impressed with their groundbreaking class action work including Serrano v. Priest, the Williams v. California settlement, and most recently the CQE v. California case. All of these cases have directly and positively impacted California’s most vulnerable and high needs students. In addition to impact litigation, the education team seamlessly combines essential coalition and community partnerships along with high-level legislative advocacy in Sacramento. It is rare to find a group of attorneys with this depth and breadth of expertise in education law. With over ten years of law practice, primarily in legal aid, and my recent completion of a teaching credential program, I was excited to contribute towards this crucial education work and to learn as much as I can from these amazing attorneys.
Q: What do you find satisfying about your field?
Roxanne: I believe that education is a fundamental constitutional right and that it is the key to social and economic opportunity for many disenfranchised children. As a student, teacher, lawyer, and now mother, I have seen first- hand how important a quality education and a meaningful opportunity to learn is. Sadly, California has a long way to go to fulfill this constitutional mandate. While California has increased education funding and passed a new landmark school finance law, the Local Control Funding Formula, we still rank near the bottom nationally in terms of per pupil spending, staffing, infrastructure and test scores. Our neediest students, including foster youth, English learners, and low-income children suffer from even larger achievement gaps. All of these factors highlight that education equity work is crucial and there is a lot of work to be done.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside work?
Roxanne: As a mother expecting my third child (my son is 9 years old and my daughter is 20 months), I spend a lot of time nurturing my family. We take stroller walks to 24th Street, play football at the Noe Rec Center, and make frequent visits to Mitchell’s ice cream. My husband and I are also drinking a lot of coffee (he drinks Phils and I’m loyal to Ritual) and binge watching our favorite television shows after the kids go to bed. We recently finished season two of Transparent which I highly recommend.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
Roxanne: “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” — Socrates