Community Voice in Educational Equity

More than 2,650 community members identified issues of inequity across the Hamilton County public school system and envisioned solutions to those problems through a public survey period from August through November 2017. A team of researchers then analyzed the survey responses to identify the 25 most commonly cited issues and solutions.

Those solutions — listed below — were made into an interactive voting experience, outfitted in a little red school bus, and toured around Hamilton County to public spaces for two weeks during winter 2017-18. Nearly 1,500 community members voted on their top priorities among the 25 solutions originally identified by the community.

The 10 highest prioritized solutions now form the basis of the APEX Policy Platform. See the 10 top solutions and take action to help ensure each of these solutions is implemented by the many decision makers and stakeholders impacting our schools!

The statements below are categorized by the groups that can take action to implement each solution. There are an equal number of solutions per group because every individual and entity shares responsibility for ensuring a great education to every child in this community. 

Elected Officials

  • Equity must be at the forefront of funding decisions and policy development.
  • There must be funding to recruit, support, and keep the best teachers.
  • Funds must be provided to make all school facilities safe and healthy learning spaces, and there must be a long-term plan to keep them that way.
  • Funding must be provided to support the end of socioeconomic and racial segregation in our schools.
  • Elected officials must be transparent in their decision making.

Hamilton County Department of Education Central Office Administration

  • Equity must be at the forefront of decision-making processes.
  • Our teacher population must reflect the diversity of our students.
  • A plan must be developed to end socioeconomic and racial segregation in schools.
  • Central Office administration must make and communicate decisions in a transparent way to the community to ensure accountability.
  • Teaching and programs must provide personalized support, especially to those with special needs and minority identities (like English-language learners and LGBTQ+ students).

Schools

  • Discipline policies must focus on community health and well-being within the school rather than punishment through zero-tolerance policies.
  • Students and teachers must have a voice in the issues that matter to them to support better relationships and engagement.
  • Student health and well-being must be promoted through healthy foods, physical activity, self-expression, and the arts.
  • Student mental and emotional health needs must be supported.
  • Schools must use new, creative forms of outreach to parents and communities to determine and meet their unique needs.

Community Members

  • The community must invest in our public schools by supporting increased tax revenue.
  • Community members must demand the end of socioeconomic and racial segregation in our schools.
  • Community members must remain educated on current issues in our school system.
  • The community must actively hold elected officials accountable to ensure equity for all students.
  • Parents and community members must embrace opportunities to support schools and children.

Community Organizations

  • Organizations must advocate for equity to be at the forefront of decisions made by the school system and elected officials.
  • Mentoring, field trips, and early childhood education initiatives must be expanded.
  • Opportunities for parent engagement must be fostered for student success.
  • Local organizations and businesses must support and provide resources to our schools.
  • Community organizations must actively align strategies and resources in support of equity in our schools.