Trustees first discussed the 10-page report, which was crafted from conversations at two community meetings in March, during their June 11 agenda review meeting.
At the June 18 meeting—a regular meeting, which is when trustees typically vote on matters discussed the week before at the agenda review meeting—trustees postponed the race and equity agenda item at the last minute.
The decision, made at approximately 12:40 a.m. June 19, happened just before the item came up on the agenda and more than five hours after 11 people had finished addressing the board during citizens' comments on matters related to race and equity in LISD.
Trustees tabled the discussion until the June 25 special called meeting. At the June 18 meeting, Board President Trish Bode said the discussion on race and equity was delayed “to give this conversation the time that it needs.”
The report was crafted by two vendors considered by the LISD administration to be experts in race and diversity: Dr. Cherie Dawson-Edwards from the University of Louisville and Dr. Bradley Carpenter from Baylor University.
Eight community Q&A forums, called “community conversations” by LISD, were held during the 2019-20 school year and before the coronavirus pandemic. Two of the eight forums—March 3 at Henry Middle School and March 9 at Wiley Middle School—focused on race and equity discussions and were the most well-attended of the eight meetings, according to Area Superintendent Laurelyn Arterbury.
The report’s short-term recommendations included a district-wide audit on equity, as well as an increase in equity advocates in the LISD administration and current task forces. Long-term recommendations included strategic recruitment and communication plans to attract and promote diversity.
School-specific equity audits based on the recommendations of caregivers, teachers and stakeholders were also recommended.
At the meeting, trustees also plan a routine job evaluation of Superintendent Bruce Gearing, who started Sept. 3, 2019, as LISD's superintendent.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and can be viewed online at LISD’s YouTube page. The link will become active five minutes before the meeting starts, according to the meeting agenda.
Individuals wishing to speak during citizens' comments may do so by signing up online here between 4:30-5:45 p.m. June 25.