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District will develop plans with schools across the city to address systemic racism

NEW ORLEANS – (June11, 2020) - Today, at its June Board Business Meeting, the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) passed a resolution approving the engagement of a consultant to strategically evaluate School District policies, practices and procedures and utilize those findings to develop a racial equity plan for all public schools in New Orleans. The goal of the plan is to ensure that racism does not affect outcomes and experiences for NOLA-PS students and their families. Currently, the New Orleans public school district student body is 80 percent African American.

“Our students, parents and staff deserve more than mere platitudes of support and solidarity. They deserve action! We are committed to rooting out any racial inequalities within our system,” said OPSB President and author of the resolution Ethan Ashley. “I am thankful to our administration for their commitment to combat racial inequities in our system. I am certain that this resolution is the natural next step to build upon the internal work around equity. For in the end, change starts one system at a time.”

The resolution outlines the OPSB’s outrage over the killing of George Floyd and other African Americans in recent years as well as “the persistent racial violence and systemic racism we continue to see across our country.” The resolution goes on to state that while the OPSB has strived to bring equitable solutions to systemic problems, these efforts are often undermined by institutional legislation, policies and mandates from governing bodies within the community. With this understanding, the OPSB hopes to lead efforts to disrupt the patterns of racial inequality that permeate our system by auditing policies and procedures and to encourage and support OPSB-authorized schools to do the same while crafting a racial equity plan that addresses the daily structure of the school system and improves the outcomes and experiences of all families and students.

The full resolution text can be found online here.

Last week, the district posted a statement in response to the recent protests sweeping the city and country following Mr. Floyd’s death. The statement was as follows:

“NOLA Public Schools is devastated and outraged by the tragic events gripping the nation. We must speak out and fight against systemic racism on behalf of the 45,000 students served by our district – 80% of which are African American and nearly that are African American males. This is personal to us, #BlackLivesMatter.

We know that racial injustice is a traumatic reality known too well by our students, parents, educators and many of our own staff. We must demand a better future for our students. They deserve to live and thrive in a world that sees their humanity and appreciates the value of their life. As we process these recent events collectively, we stand with all those fighting against these injustices and we are committed to doing the work, day in and day out, to help educate our children to continue to fight for their rights.

Our heart aches for the families of those who have been killed at the hands of police officers. We stand resolute in joining our voices with others to demand justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all the victims of police brutality.”

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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools. 





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External Resources

NOLA Public Schools. Every Child. Every School. Every Day.

2401 Westbend Parkway
New Orleans, Louisiana 70114

Phone: 504-304-3520
Email: Communications@opsb.us

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