Updated: Mar 16, 2021
On March 10, the Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) Board voted to approve March 21 as an International Day of Elimination of Racial-Discrimination. But this was after realizing that the approval would not be the only thing they need to do to address racial discrimination.
There was a robust discussion surrounding the resolution before a vote took place, and it was only hesitantly approved. The hesitation came from a few board members who said that they did not like the idea of simply voting a resolution into place, having the information sent over to their districts, and then forgetting about it (effectively wiping their hands clean). The next time that a resolution similar to this is brought forward, board members have requested that an action-plan be put in place to carry it out.
They did not address the public comments concerning increased policing, and the call to remove campus ties with the Sacramento and Elk Grove police. People who called in voiced concerns that the increased use of policing in the schools will exacerbate the school to prison pipeline. These public statements were IGNORED and UNADDRESSED in this meeting.
The budget increased by $2 billion due to Prop 98 (prop 98 establishes the state's minimum level of funding given to schools), however there are concerns about fiscal year budgets due to the drop in enrollment. This drop is possibly due to COVID, because many parents seem to have taken their kids out of this district, and instead enrolled them into private schools.
During public comment community members voiced their concerns about policing in the schools, and urged the board to:
Remove cops from our schools
Separate Elk Grove Police Department from school campuses and remove/revaluate their relationship, as outlined in Agenda d71
Recognize growing Asian-American xenophobia
Acknowledge that ending racial discrimination should involve ending the school to prison pipeline, and that having cops on campus threatens that goal
The staff recommendation included:
The decision that a week of solidarity would be organized annually on March 21
The acknowledgement that promoting tolerance, unity, respect, and humility means that everyone is entitled to basic human rights
The additional acknowledgement that xenophobia, racism, and discriminatory practices are present in all societies
An ask to the Board to that each and every one of the members stand up to #fightracism
Some additional observations:
Distance learning has been a respite from non-culturally respectful/responsive environments
At times Board members seemed opposed to the the resolution.
The Board wants more curriculum-based resolutions that have an action plan - not simply an empty statement (resolution) - since this item was simply brought up for vote and there was no real plan hold anyone accountable for their future actions