7 SEPTEMBER 2021, ANNAPOLIS, MD – After the Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) Nominating Committee announced nine nominees for the AIB, in accordance with the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the Maryland Alliance for Racial Equity in Education (MAREE) issued the following statement.
“Now that the nominees of the AIB were presented to the governor, it is essential that the governor, the General Assembly, and the nominees prioritize racial equity and justice in education. Maryland needs racial justice champions on the board who understand how Black and Latino students have been underserved and see eliminating racial opportunity gaps as the most important responsibility of the AIB.
“We must ensure that the voices of Black and Latino students, who make up more the majority of students in the state and are the most important constituency of the Blueprint, are heard. During the application process, MAREE asked that the selection criteria include deep knowledge for racial justice in education for Black and brown students in Maryland.
“Unfortunately, there are some significant oversights in the composition of the nominees. The lack of representation from Prince George’s County, the second largest school district in the state with a student population that is more than 90% Black and Latino, is a glaring omission. Even more concerning is the lack of Latino representation, the fastest growing population and a student population of 110,529 in Maryland.
“As the AIB provides governance and accountability of Blueprint, it must seek out the perspectives and concerns of communities of color. Without centering educational justice for Black and brown students, we risk losing the benefits that this education overhaul plan promises. This is especially true as the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the racial opportunity gap.
“MAREE seeks transparency, engagement, dialogue, and prioritization of eliminating racial inequity from the AIB Board. We will fiercely advocate for equitable implementation of policy, a more just distribution of resources, and accountability for a high quality and affirming education for Black and brown students. It is critical that the nominees selected by the governor share our commitment to racial justice, and we are here to work closely with the Board to deliver on the promise of the Blueprint.”
The Maryland Alliance for Racial Equity in Education (MAREE) is an alliance of education advocacy, civil rights, and community-based organizations that are committed to eliminating racial disparities in Maryland’s education system. Coalition members include 1977-II Action Group, Attendance Works, Strong Schools Maryland, Family League of Baltimore, World Class Graduates, ACLU of Maryland, Alliance for Maryland Parents, Teachers and Students, immigrant advocacy organization CASA, Greater Baltimore Urban League, and The Education Trust.