School Board Equity Policies

Many American Local School Boards began adopting a common policy of “Equity” by 2018. The wording and definition of “Equity” is identical for Local and State Boards in many States. It is not clear how a Local School Board implements their Equity Policy.

This is an excerpt from the current California School Board Association (CSBA) “Equity Policy”:

The Governing Board believes that the diversity that exists among the district’s community of students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members is integral to the district’s vision, mission, and goals. Addressing the needs of the most marginalized learners requires recognition of the inherent value of diversity and acknowledgement that educational excellence requires a commitment to equity in the opportunities provided to students and the resulting outcomes.

In order to eradicate institutional bias of any kind, including implicit or unintentional biases and prejudices that affect student achievement, and to eliminate disparities in educational outcomes for students from historically underserved and underrepresented populations, the district shall proactively identify class and cultural biases as well as practices, policies, and institutional barriers that negatively influence student learning, perpetuate achievement gaps, and impede equal access to opportunities for all students.

The Board shall make decisions with a deliberate awareness of impediments to learning faced by students of color and/or diverse cultural, linguistic, or socio-economic backgrounds. To ensure that equity is the intentional result of district decisions, the Board shall consider whether its decisions address the needs of students from racial, ethnic, and indigent communities and remedy the inequities that such communities experienced in the context of a history of exclusion, discrimination, and segregation. Board decisions shall not rely on biased or stereotypical assumptions about any particular group of students.

The Board and the Superintendent or designee shall develop and implement policies and strategies to promote equity in district programs and activities, through measures such as the following:
— Routinely assessing student needs based on data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds in order to enable equity-focused policy, planning, and resource development decisions
— Analyzing expenditures and allocating financial and human resources in a manner that provides all students with equitable access to district programs, support services, and opportunities for success and promotes equity and inclusion in the district.
— Adopting curriculum and instructional materials that accurately reflect the diversity among student groups
— Providing and/or collaborating with local agencies and community groups to ensure the availability of necessary support services for students in need
— Promoting the employment and retention of a diverse staff that reflects the student demographics of the community
— Providing district staff with ongoing, researched-based, professional learning and professional development on culturally responsive instructional practices
— Conducting program evaluations that focus on equity and address the academic outcomes and performance of all students on all indicators. The Board shall regularly monitor the intent and impact of district policies and decisions in order to safeguard against disproportionate or unintentional impact on access to district programs and achievement goals for specific student populations in need of services.

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