Equity Imperatives

Community group recommends public timeline and measurable outcomes to address Equity Disparities

Springfield , MO— Community Education Coalition for Springfield Public Schools Equity presented a list of “imperatives” to the Springfield Public School District at the Bartley Ducatur Neighborhood Center on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
The group is made up of community members including parents, businesses, community leaders, and local agencies.
“We are publicly and jointly demanding community leaders and the school district administrators develop a public timeline with measurable outcomes to address the goals in the Springfield Public Schools strategic plans now,” said coalition member Mark Dixon. The excepts from the document include:
…As community members, we seek to assist SPS with these urgent matters to develop, short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals for access, success and equity. Transparency is necessary and trusting relationships must be built in order to effectively educate and develop our students. Areas of concern requiring collaborative and cooperative work include:
1. Buildings, Facilities, and Contracting
It is imperative that policy language be promulgated and/revised to create equitable opportunities for local businesses that include subcontracting and consulting opportunities within the district. This would help dollars stay local and for local businesses to have an equitable opportunity to bid for the work. We are speaking about consulting, procurement, design, construction and other contractual services.
2. SPS Workforce Recruitment, Hiring and Retention
It is imperative that creative and innovative outreach, recruitment, hiring and retention of diverse administrators, teachers, counselors and staff must be initiated immediately to ensure a SPS workforce representative of all students served by the district.
3. Cultural Awareness, Represented in Curriculum and Staff Training
It is imperative that the SPS Board, administration and staff receive comprehensive and ongoing culturally responsive teaching, anti-racism, and anti-bias training and professional development. Such training in valuing inclusion should include training to identify the causes of institutional and systemic racism as well as the ways to decrease and mitigate its negative impacts.
4. Equitable Implementation of Discipline Policies and Redress Opportunities
It is imperative that SPS take part in statewide research projects that focus on discipline policies and redress, with the goal of eliminating disparate treatment based on difference.
5. Resource Reallocation
It is imperative that resources be reallocated to develop an effective funding plan that intentionally promotes, develops and implements inclusive policies, programs and practices that better prepare all students to succeed.
6. Executive Level Chief Equity and Diversity Officer
It is imperative that the CEDO will have sufficient and appropriate staff and budget levels required for success in this position.
7. Robust Student, Parental, and Community Agency Engagement
It is imperative that SPS and the Springfield community ensure a commitment to improve effective relationships with underrepresented and marginalized families and communities.