INDIANAPOLIS – Parents and community advocates affiliated with local education advocacy organization Stand for Children Indiana are praising district leaders for the language justice policy set to be voted on at the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) board action session this evening.
Parents have been steadfast in their advocacy surrounding the need for schools to breakdown language barriers that prevent parents and students — especially immigrants— from fully realizing educational opportunity. Parents also raised the need for more cultural competency in IPS, accounting for the unique challenges that come with the immigrant experience. Parents believe this policy is a solid step in the right direction, and they applauded Superintendent Dr. Aleesia Johnson and the IPS board for their commitment to better serving IPS families.
“Parents, including myself, have fought long and hard for a language justice policy,” said IPS parent Ana Delgado. “I am grateful with all my heart that the district took the time to hear our concerns and thoughts. Thank you for listening to us.”
“I truly appreciate IPS leaders for taking this step towards addressing gaps in serving the ELL community,” said Stand for Children Indiana organizer and IPS parent Carolina Figueroa. “I am proud of the community and IPS parents for speaking up and seeking this language justice policy. As long as we keep working together, we will be on the right path to create a more inclusive environment for our immigrant communities. Thank you IPS leaders!”
The policy, if approved, will:
- Establish that IPS recognizes the impact of language differences and sees language justice as a key part of the district’s DEI values.
- Set forth a process for IPS to create a plan to move toward language justice, which “is the practice of ensuring people can communicate effectively, understand information, and be understood using the language in which they feel most comfortable,” according to the IPS draft policy.
- Establish a community taskforce to inform the planning process.
- Call for annual updates on language justice from the superintendent to the board.
About Stand for Children Indiana: Stand for Children Indiana is a unique catalyst for education equity and racial justice, to create a brighter future for us all.