The Learning Curve is a weekly column that answers questions about schools using plain language. Have a question about how your local schools work? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this week, the San Diego Unified Board voted unanimously to adopt a School Climate Bill of Rights. The document, put forth by City Heights group the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network, provides a grassroots-driven framework for the district’s restorative practices, an alternative form of conflict resolution in schools to discipline through suspension and expulsion.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, dozens of students, staff and community members lined up to support the initiative, but several people raised questions about the limited financial resources being dedicated to the shift in the district’s disciplinary practices.
“The first conversation needs to talk about money,” said Francine Maxwell, a parent. “How much money are we going to put behind something or are we just going to have another program where people are meeting and coming up with different resolutions, but we’re not funding that particular resolution?”
The district began shifting to so-called restorative school discipline practices a few years ago after a 2014 Harvard study included recommendations to help address the racial disparities in discipline policies that disproportionately harm black and Latino students and students with disabilities.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I love the categories that are referenced for disciplinary issues. The lumped Overall, African-American, Hispanic, English Learner, SPED (Special Education) and will say little more about them, the categories, or about those who compiled them. That VOSD would repeat the mention is no surprise either.
Finally; you could have said something more about the use of unfunded or poorly-funded high-minded programs or policies; perhaps you did not because you know that we have seen them all fail before.