Wednesday, May 14, 2008

USD259 provides funding for the Director of Equity and Accountability position

Earlier this year, USD259 voted to end busing for desegregation. We (the Wichita Branch NAACP) participated in the district meetings to discuss the end and alternatives to busing and we agreed with the proposal with some caveats. In February of this year, we made a presentation to the Board of Education wherein we outlined our recommendations for maintaining diversity and equity in the district post-busing.

The first of these recommendation was that the district would create a Director level position who would oversee diversity and equity issues within the district. This position was also referenced in the 4-point plan to eliminate the achievement gap that we presented to the district sometime earlier.

The District has since voted to create a new Director of Equity and Accountability position. And we are very pleased to report that they have now proposed to fully fund the position with a $300,000.00 line item in the budget that would cover the Director's salary, the hiring of an assistant, and the services of a consultant who will help them draft the job description and will advise on how to properly manage the transition from busing to a new system.

We sincerely applaud the district's effort, and we thank them for listening and being responsive to the concerns of the community. We believe that this position will prove to be a great benefit to the district in a number of areas. Beyond the racial diversity issues, this position can help the district deal with *compliance issues on Board Policies, and objectives. It can refocus the board on *resource management and the equitable allocation of funds and projects throughout the district. It can even initiate a real discussion on the *allocation of Human Resources; namely the distribution of experienced versus inexperienced teachers.

We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the district as we continue to work on the critical issues of diversity and equity. And as always, we'll keep you posted...

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