An Equity Guide For Reopening Maryland’s Schools

The Maryland Alliance for Racial Equity in Education (MAREE), is a coalition of education advocacy, civil rights, and community-based organizations that are committed to eliminating racial disparities in Maryland’s education system.

MAREE presents 10 Equity Recommendations for the 2020-2021 School Year:

  1. Address learning gaps through expanded learning time, schedule adjustments, and targeted interventions that prioritize students from low-income backgrounds, students with special needs, English language learners, and students with the greatest learning gaps.
  2. Ensure that all students have access to high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum and coursework and make appropriate adjustments to curriculum to address learning gaps, while maintaining a focus on college and career readiness.
  3. Continue building an infrastructure to support distance/virtual learning and continuity of services, such as access to food, mental health services, special education services, and English language
    supports. This includes both ensuring that students have access to reliable highspeed internet access, devices, and IT support, and that students, families, and teachers have been trained on how to provide/access virtual instruction.
  4. Collect and report disaggregated data on disparities and theimpact of the pandemic as well as the effectiveness of interventions. The district must also set clear accountability benchmarks and goals for student access to and quality of learning.
  5. Provide high-quality diagnostic assessments to regularly identify students in need of intervention and
    monitor progress, with minimal loss of instructional time. This includes reviewing all IEPs as part of a district’s responsibility to follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  6. Put in place the resources and structures to address the social and emotional needs of students, families, and staff, including adequate mental health and support staff and restorative justice practices to minimize out-of-school discipline practices. 
  7. Shield the highest-poverty schools from layoffs or hiring freezes and prioritize the placement of personnel in schools with students with the greatest learning losses.
  8. Set clear budget priorities that indicate
    a) how the district plans to use state and federal resources to support the highest-need schools, b) in the case of declining revenues, how the district will preserve academic and social-emotional
    supports for students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students who are English learners, and c) how the district will cut budgets to account for different levels of need across schools and students, and report on how revenue was used.
  9. Develop a strategy to reengage families prior to the 2020-2021 school year to ensure attendance, assess needs, and communicate timely information in the home languages of students’ families.
  10. Prioritize high-quality early care and education options for low-income families, families of dual language learners, and families with young children with disabilities.

 

CASA and the other members of MAREE

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