Dean lobbies for Cal Grant funding

By Hana Henaid

Upper School Dean Rose-Ellen Racanelli flew to Sacramento to lobby for the preservation of Cal Grant funding on Capitol Hill on Feb. 20.

Racanelli works with the Western Association for College Admission Counseling, an organization dedicated to “supporting and advancing the work of counseling and enrollment professionals,” according to their Mission Statement.

Lobbying is the process of educating your government officials in what’s important to you,” she said. “It’s important to visit your state representatives and let them know you’re a constituent they represent.”

WACAC has two 2009 Legislative Priorities which serve as the foundation for Racanelli’s lobbying. The first is to “support and protect ongoing funding for the Cal Grant program,” which are state funded monetary grants given to students to help pay for college expenses. The second is to “maintain sufficient funding for California higher education,” according to WACAC.

“I believe there’s power in numbers,” Racanelli said.

Racanelli has plans to expand her education activism to incorporate students. They could potentially meet with government representatives in charge of an education arena and directly engage with students from schools that the Cal Grants might benefit.

“I would like to create a parallel conference with our students where we could introduce them to kids from under-represented schools and really open up the dialogue.”

Racanelli understands education funding as an issue with long-term effects.

“If kids aren’t being educated in California, you have to wonder what’s going to happen to the state,” Racanelli said.

Before working with the WACAC in California, Racanelli lived in New York and served as Chair of the Government Relations Committee for the National Association of College Admission Counseling.

“It’s important to act on what you believe,” Racanelli said. “It can help empower people; it’s important to have your voice heard.”