The Coalition for Racial Justice commends the Iowa City school board’s ongoing efforts on behalf of the children and youth of our community.
Based on the coalition’s work over the last 36 months related to racial equity locally, we would like to offer input on the school district’s proposed diversity policy. In considering this proposal, we asked two questions: Is every child in a public education system entitled to equal educational opportunity? And, if they are, can this be achieved in a “separate but equal” system?
Our answers led the coalition to take a strong stand in support of the proposed diversity policy. We hope that the board will pass this policy at its Tuesday meeting and that the entire community will support their efforts to bring this much-needed integration to all our schools that will benefit all students.
Research has demonstrated that socio-economic and racial segregation in schools profoundly and negatively impacts the educational opportunities available to children. Iowa City schools currently have wide socio-economic (income) gaps between schools; gaps that correlate closely, though not exactly, with the ratio of minority students in those schools. We believe children’s educational experiences in a public school system should not be determined by familial income, race or ethnicity. There will be considerably more work to do along these lines if the policy is passed, but in the meantime we wholeheartedly support the board’s efforts.
For the Coalition for Racial Justice