KCPS Board of Directors Adopts Innovative Equity Policy

Board and administration commit to closing resource gaps for students

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Kansas City, June 28, 2018:  The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors has taken the important step of adopting an equity policy for KCPS that affirms its commitment to providing each student with the necessary educational supports to reach his or her highest potential.

The KCPS Board of Education Equity Policy was approved during a meeting Wednesday evening, June 28 at the central office. The universal policy will provide a lens through which all KCPS policies are implemented and assessed. With the adoption of this policy, the School Board and administration continue to be in lock-step around the importance of serving all children who walk through the school system’s doors.

DOWNLOAD: KCPS Equity Policy

The Board began discussions about an Equity Policy in 2017 during the strategic planning process. After hearing input from more than 300 educators, parents and community members, it was clear that educational resources and opportunities were not equitably distributed throughout the school district, and that changes had to be made. The new policy goes hand-in-hand with Priority 11 of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, which specifically focuses on making sure KCPS is matching resources equitably to the data-supported needs of student and staff.

By adopting this policy, the Board and administration have reinforced that equity is a core value of KCPS. The policy also holds the system accountable for making a deliberate effort to close resource gaps with the intention of reversing longstanding patterns of underperformance among segments of the student population, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities.

“As the KCPS Board and administration examine the district’s performance data and progress toward full accreditation, it is impossible to meet this goal without addressing equity across our system,” said KCPS Board Chair Melissa Robinson. “This Equity Policy is a promise to the community that our attention and intentionality will reflect a commitment to align resources, instructional practices, and additional supports where there are identified gaps in performance.”

Robinson said the equity policy prioritizes the Board’s commitment to educational equity, with the administration responsible for developing and organizing the educational programs, financial resources and staff development to ensure equity is evident throughout the system.

“The KCPS Board’s charge to ourselves and to the administration is to confront and work to eliminate policies, practices and beliefs that contribute to underperformance for some groups of our students,” Robinson said.

The equity policy will be reflected in the 2018-2019 KCPS budget and staffing and professional development plans, and it will be included as part of the Board’s policy monitoring process.

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