I believe if we make sure all schools under the district umbrella are funding equitably, language justice is a priority and we grow schools that are getting results for kids (and closing the opportunity gap), we can have a better IPS for everyone.
When I spoke to the board at the end of September, I told them that I am not an expert in numbers or the district financials, but I do think we need to fund our schools equitably. As an IPS taxpayer who knows parents throughout the district, I believe we must share referendum dollars with all school types. I don’t think it is right that some schools and students have yet to receive their fair share of the operating dollars from the referendum. Those students have parents who are taxpayers too. This is an issue that parents have been speaking about for months, and the issue has been present for years. Now is the time for IPS leaders to act on sharing operating referendum dollars with schools across the IPS family.
I also asked IPS leaders to either update the equity policy or pass a new policy to include language justice. A lot of parents in this district don’t speak English as their first language. I have started to see some things come across in Spanish, but Spanish is not the only other language spoken in this district. Without language justice, parents are facing barriers with basic communications. I think in those shoes, I would feel very excluded. I hope a policy passes that allows all families to feel important, included and updated.
Last, I told them that although some schools in our district are great schools, I hope one day all our schools are great. I explained that one way to do this is to grow schools that are closing the opportunity gap and where all kids are exceling. Every year we don’t do better for our children is another year they are falling behind and not attaining the academic level they need to succeed. I hope the board decides to grow schools and models where all kids have the opportunity to achieve their highest potential regardless of their skin color or financial background.
For me, a better IPS for everyone looks like not knowing who is going to pass the test before it is taken. It looks like kids getting an education that sets them up for success no matter their first language or skin color. It looks like having great and safe schools in every neighborhood.
I see the changes IPS leaders have made. I am grateful they set bold board goals, passed the racial equity policy and are listening to parents like me. I am a proud IPS parent and because of that, I will keep pushing for better because our children deserve it. If you agree, please send an email to IPS leaders today. Ask them to fund our schools equitably, support language justice and grow schools that close the opportunity gap.