The National Education Association, in coordination with national partners, NEA state and local affiliates, racial justice advocates, allies, and community activists, shall build powerful education communities and continue our work together to eradicate institutional racism in our public school system by:

1.  Establishing a task force that identifies the criteria for safe, just, and equitable schools, including exploring the role of law enforcement in education.

The task force will:

  • Create a clear vision for the NEA on what must be included to create safe, just, and equitable schools for all students.
  • Craft an Association-wide plan, in consultation with leaders of current police-free school movements as well as successful police-free schools legislation across the country, to include developing common language, understanding historical and current student experiences, training and workshops, and opportunities, to take collective action.
  • Provide recommendations to amend existing policy, including the NEA School Discipline and School-to-Prison Pipeline Policy Statement (2016), NEA Resolutions, the NEA Legislative Program and any other related documents.
  • Compile current data that documents the criminalization of Native students and students of color, the disparities in appropriate staffing with mental health professionals and caring educators, and provide analysis comparing the impact of on- site or community-based programs and personnel with the use of law enforcement on campuses.
  • Inform the work identified in numbers two and three.

2.  Supporting and leading campaigns that:

  • Advocate for just funding formulas that remedy pervasive resource disparities based upon race, income, and geographic wealth patterns, and advocate for no-cost higher education.
  • Reallocate funding to provide students with school-based, non-privatized, non- outsourced services to meet their social/emotional and mental health needs by:
    • Achieving robust staffing levels including appropriate class sizes, including access to electives, art, librarians, and ESPs, and including appropriate Higher Ed staffing levels; and
    • Training specific school personnel to be full-time restorative practice coordinators and providing all school employees with professional development around cultural responsiveness, implicit bias, anti-racism, trauma-informed practices, restorative justice practices and other racial justice trainings; and
    • Training educators to lead on equity and racial justice, leveraging the Leaders for Just Schools curriculum and model.
    • Hiring school-based mental health providers trained to provide culturally appropriate services, such as school counselors, nurses, social workers, drug and alcohol  counselors and psychologists, and utilizing trauma-informed, restorative justice practices, meditation/peace centers, and other proven methods to address student health and wellbeing.
  • Eliminate the school-to-prison and school-to-deportation pipeline.
  • Win transformative investments for racially just schools that include addressing the academic, social, and emotional needs of every student through their entire educational journey, including non-biased access to PreK and post high school opportunities.
  • Seek remedy to economic justice issues including, but not limited to, affordable housing, housing insecurity, food insecurity, and access to health care and childcare.
  • Achieve dramatic funding increases for proven programs such as services for low-income students under Title I and students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA).
  • Result in greater numbers of Native educators and educators of color in the education profession(s) and the union; specifically in high quality, fulltime, professional or tenure track positions.
  • Result in increased investment to expand community schools leveraging the NEA Community Schools Model.
  • Result in increasing the implementation of culturally responsive education, Critical Race Theory, and Ethnic (Native People, Asian, Black, Latin(o/a/x), Middle Eastern and North African, and Pacific Islander ) Studies curriculum in Pre-K-12 and Higher Education.
  • Eradicate racist laws, racist policies and racist practices, the over criminalization of communities, students, and families of Native People and people of color, as well as the criminalization of poverty.

3.  Engaging and empowering students, families, community and other key stakeholders in the decision-making process in their schools, districts, higher education institutions and communities.

To this end, NEA will:

  • Expand the development of trauma-informed schools and the implementation of trauma-informed practices in education communities to support learning, social and emotional wellbeing and inclusive educational environments.
  • Leverage Bargaining for the Common Good to engage broad stakeholder groups to win on transforming education communities.
  • Provide technical assistance to expand state and local affiliate education community partnerships to deliver professional development and training curriculum targeted to education employees charged with creating affirming accountability practices and supportive climates by:
    • Expanding the implementation of training in age-appropriate responses and interventions, cultural responsiveness and culturally relevant pedagogy, implicit bias, anti-racism, trauma-informed practices, restorative justice practices and other racial justice training.
       

Rationale/Background

Policymakers deny schools resources and opportunities, blame problems they create on students of color, and use police in place of nurses, counselors, supportive services, and enrichment programs proven to make schools places where students can thrive and truly be safe.

Submitted By

Contact

Eric Brown - IL

Strategic Objective

SO-3: Advance Racial Justice in Education