At the end of April, I spoke to the IPS board and asked them to make the district more equitable because if we don’t make changes now, I am afraid the changes will never come.
I asked IPS leaders to:
- Equitably fund schools like the one my children attend because all schools under the district umbrella are IPS schools and all students deserve to benefit from the operating referendum funds
- Pass a language justice policy because all parents deserve to have their voices heard, and all members of the district should feel supported
- Set strong goals for diversifying our teacher workforce because children benefit when they have a teacher they can relate to
- Close the opportunity gap between Black and Brown students and white students because all kids can achieve if they have the appropriate supports
Please join me in this movement. The IPS board will only act if parents like me have a large enough show of support for our vision of a more just and equitable district.
I am an advocate, a single mother of autistic child with ADHD and a five-year-old that just started school at Ignite Achievement Academy. I often work two or three jobs at a time just to make ends meet and create a good quality of life for my boys. With all of this on my plate, I’m still here on a Thursday night, for my boys and all the other babies in this district who deserve to have an equitable education.
My children attend an innovation school. Is my kids’ school part of the IPS family or not? If they are, like you say they are, we need to take care of these schools. I am aware that innovation schools have their own budgets, but if they are operating under IPS, they need to be receiving the referendum dollars that the other schools are getting. They need their share of the referenda dollars to continue educating our students of color and other students they serve inside of the building. I hope to see this district announce plans to share these dollars by the summer.
Beyond equitably funding schools, there are families in this district who are left out of decisions because of language barriers. We have to be intentional about communication with all parents in this district, not just the ones who speak English. Please work to pass a language justice policy.
I am highly upset that only 27% of teachers in this district are Black or Brown. We need goals to improve this number so more teachers reflect the student population.
I am highly upset that only 7% of Black students passed the ILEARN. We need to have a plan to grow schools that don’t have this opportunity gap. And overall, we need to ensure that within 5-6 years, Black and Brown students are doing just as well as white students, which means adding this goal to the strategic plan. I say “We" because we are all apart of ensuring our students receive a quality education. This pandemic has brought to light the many gaps in equity in our district. I know for a fact that our students did not receive the quality education that they deserve. So, what are we going to do about it? How are we going to address learning loss? Our plan addresses all of these issues.
We have an opportunity to change the path that our students are on. We have the opportunity to end systemic racism. Our children need this board to step up and make the changes needed to end systemic racism in our district. We know that this is an action plan with bold goals. But it takes bold goals to create bold outcomes for our children. Please add those bold goals to the district’s strategic plan. Thank you.