White Folks Facing Race: School Board Elections and Budget Processes
[This is part of my White Folks Facing Race series, originally written on April 22, 2020 to an email group created for community members in the Washington, DC area.]
I hope you’re all well.
Please note that APS has changed its public comment process on policy revisions and amendments. Policy drafts are made available for 30 days and are open for comment during that time. Please engage with this and submit comments from an equity perspective to show APS that families care about equity and how it is implemented into meaningful action.
Please stay informed about the APS Budget process. There are significant cuts ahead of us and pushing for equity is NOT a luxury. Ensuring that we have skillful teachers and school staff on hand when our students return is a necessity, particularly because many students will be experiencing trauma during the closures and the summer due to economic distress or other difficult circumstances. We must advocate for everything our students will need to successfully navigate the return to school (whatever that looks like) and for the work it will take to address each student’s needs for learning and thriving at school. Equity must be the lens through which we do all of these things — it is not an extra feature of something, it should be the underlying reason for what we do.
And of course, there’s also the County Budget process. Please encourage our leadership to focus on everything through an equity lens, per the recent Equity Resolution they passed last September. We cannot go backwards. We must continue to prioritize equity in everything we do.
I’m working on putting together some virtual conversations with a few individual School Board candidates to get a better understanding of what they mean when they talk about educational equity. It has become a buzz word many are using, so let’s ask them to help us understand what that means to them. I’ll keep you posted once those are confirmed.
Five candidates are running in the Arlington Democrats School Board Caucus — which is changing to vote-by-mail only. Ballot requests must be received (not postmarked) by Arlington Democrats by May 7. The Caucus is a competition to receive the endorsement of the Arlington Democrats — typically the path to victory during the School Board election. The actual School Board election is in November.
- Cristina Diaz-Torres https://www.cristinaforarlington.com
- Steven Krieger https://www.stevenforschoolboard.com
- Sandy Munnell https://www.sandyforschools.com
- David Priddy https://www.priddyforschoolboard.com
- Terron Sims http://www.terronsims.com
There is at least one other candidate on the November ballot who cannot be in the caucus, because she is a federal employee:
- Symone Walker https://symoneforstudents.com
On April 28, the Arlington Democrats are hosting a School Board Forum at 7:00 pm on Facebook Live. It would be amazing if we had a great showing of equity-minded participants and maybe even some race-related questions (I’m not sure how they’re handling that part).
Please feel free to share this information. And PLEASE VOTE!
- An article by Christian Davenport, Aaron Gregg, and Craig Timberg about how “Working from home reveals another fault line in America’s racial and educational divide”
- Homeschool Resources, described as “A small collection of crowdsourced anti-oppressive, anti-racist homeschool curriculum ideas and resources for families impacted by closures caused by the coronavirus.”
- White Awake is hosting an online course on “Solidarity and Intersectionality” starting April 26 (register by April 25).
- Volunteer Arlington has a new “Buy A Neighbor Lunch” campaign.
- EmbraceRace is hosting “How We Can Help Our Children to Be ‘Disaster-resilient’ & Why We Must” this evening, April 22 at 8:30 pm.
- The Alliance for Housing Solutions shared “Virginia Housing Victories Clouded, But Not Obscured, By Pandemic” — things to celebrate and to continue to advocate for, even as budgets are uncertain.
- Kailee Scales wrote “The Pandemic Is Devastating to Black People. Here’s What We Can Do About It.”
- Sojung Yi wrote “I’m an Asian American doctor on the front lines of two war: Coronavirus and racism.”
- Integrated Schools wrote “On COVID & Integration”
- Learning Policy Institute’s Michael Griffith wrote “COVID-19 and School Funding: What to Expect and What You Can Do”
Please stay safe and healthy. Reach out if you need anything, have a buddy or two, and hang in there.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.