Tuesday, July 27, 2021

WANTED: Residents to join conversations about racial equity in proposed bond 2020

Dallas ISD’s Racial Equity Office (REO) is calling on communities in the city’s southern sector to help define what racial equity will look like in Dallas ISD’s proposed Bond 2020 package of school and facility improvements. REO has scheduled a series of community conversations to support its Equity in Bond Planning process.

Under the leadership of REO, Dallas ISD has proposed investing $41 million in 2020 Bond Program funds to create school-community hubs in neighborhoods of color that have faced historic segregation and financial disinvestment. To assess the present-day impact of discrimination on students and families, REO is using a measurement tool called the Community Resource Index, or CRI. Developed by the nonprofit organization, the Child Poverty Action Lab, the CRI is a way of looking at how past discrimination continues to affect communities, families, education, economics and health. REO’s Equity in Bond Planning process aims to address inequities in ways that improve student academic achievement and increase opportunities for student success.

REO is proposing to create four school-community hubs in the neighborhoods served by Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, L.G. Pinkston, and H. Grady Spruce high schools.

To jumpstart the planning process, REO has scheduled virtual community conversations from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, for residents served by H. Grady Spruce High School and Tuesday, June 9, for neighborhoods served by Lincoln High School. REO plans to share with residents their area’s CRI data and collect input from students, families and residents about how the school-community hubs can improve life for students and their families. Future meetings will be held for parents and residents of the Franklin Roosevelt and L.G. Pinkston high school communities.

Leslie Williams, Dallas ISD Deputy Chief of the Racial Equity Office, says staff will spend much of the time in these conversations listening. “We want to hear residents’ reaction to the CRI data and learn how they see the connection of current problems to past redlining and segregation,” said Williams. “The bottom line is we want the community to help us help improve student outcomes.”

Residents of the Spruce and Lincoln school communities can visit the Racial Equity Office webpage for more information and to register to join the community conversations via Zoom or by telephone. Spanish interpretation will be available, and participants will have the opportunity provide input and ask questions.



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