HILLSBOROUGH, NC 28 JANUARY 2019- The Orange County Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a new Equity Policy for the district. The equity policy was on the agenda for what is known as the first read. A policy must pass a vote at a second reading to become a part of the district policy manual. The first vote on the policy was 7-0 by the members of the Board, which ensures that the policy will move forward to be a part of the manual.
The Orange County Schools Equity Task Force spent the last several months developing the draft of a district Equity Policy to be considered by the Board of Education. The task force reviewed equity policies from districts across the country to inform its work. After extensive work by the entire task force, a subcommittee of the task force was formed to write a policy that captured the thoughts and work of the entire group. The results were then brought in draft form to the Board policy committee, and subsequently the policy was brought to the full board for consideration on first reading.
Though the Board voted unanimously to approve the policy, the road to approval wasn’t always apparent. “This is a step in the right direction to correct the past and present to ensure that our students are not denied opportunities to succeed and achieve- access is crucial,” offered Board Chair Brenda Stephens. “It took a lot of work by dedicated community members and board members and staff, and it wasn’t always easy or pleasant,” added Chair Stephens.
The Chair of the Board Policy Committee, Hillary MacKenzie, led the effort to get a draft to the Board for full consideration. “This is one of the reasons that I ran for the school board,” stated Ms. MacKenzie. “Our school system must become more equitable and address the barriers to success for all of our students and families,” said Ms. MacKenzie.
Once the Equity Policy is approved on its second reading, the Board will adopt it as part of its policy manual and the Superintendent will be responsible for enacting the policy, along with developing an Equity Plan for the district. “It’s great to see our Board leadership take this step forward to making our district as great as I know it is and can be,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Wirt.
To read the Equity Policy, please visit this LINK.