While conversations about equity can sometimes become politically charged, educational equity is not a partisan issue. Educational equity is first and foremost about ensuring that school districts fulfill their core mission: successfully educating all students so that they are prepared to be productive and engaged citizens.

Creating educational equity is of upmost importance because public schools serve an increasingly diverse student population with a broad range of needs. Unfortunately, students are deprived of equitable educational opportunities based on factors including but not limited to disability, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Fortunately for our students, demographics are not destiny.

Operating with an equity lens empowers school board members to intentionally allocate resources, instruction, and opportunities according to need, requiring that discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs be identified and eradicated.

School board members have the positioning and power to employ the key levers to create more equitable outcomes, including 1) Ensuring equity in school funding; 2) Ensuring access to high-quality and high-level curriculum; 3) Ensuring access to effective teachers; 4) Ensuring safe and supportive school climates; and 5) Fostering meaningful community engagement.

Designing a school system to create equitable outcomes is not easy or simple. It is precisely because the work is so difficult and complex that school boards must fully commit to guaranteeing every student their civil right: a quality education that prepares them for life in a global economy.

Reimagining School Board Leadership: Actions for Equity is a collaboration between NSBA’s Dismantling Institutional Racism in Education (DIRE) initiative and Center for Safe Schools that focuses on acknowledging and understanding current events and the historical issues of systemic racism in America. This resource establishes a drive for school boards to rise to these current challenges our school systems are facing to transform public education, with a focus on equitable access to a world-class education for every student.

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Black Students in the Condition of Education 2020

The Center for Public Education selected relevant data from the Condition of Education to help school leaders not only monitor the educational progress of Black students, but also rethink what public schools can do better for Black students.