Recommendations coming to San Marcos CISD regarding ongoing racial equity audit

Tracey Benson updated SMCISD board members virtually regarding an ongoing equity audit during an April 19 meeting. (Screen shot courtesy San Marcos CISD)
Tracey Benson updated SMCISD board members virtually regarding an ongoing equity audit during an April 19 meeting. (Screen shot courtesy San Marcos CISD)

Tracey Benson updated SMCISD board members virtually regarding an ongoing equity audit during an April 19 meeting. (Screen shot courtesy San Marcos CISD)

Officials and staff at San Marcos CISD will soon hear a report based on the findings of an anti-racist consulting firm.

During the district's April 19 meeting, Tracey Benson of Tracey Benson Consulting addressed the board to provide an initial update on an investigation centered on racial equity.

Benson said his firm will provide the district with six recommendations as part of a report that will soon be made available to the SMCISD board.

Included in those recommendations are a need for clarified data on dropout rates by race and gender as well as data on students who are sent to in-school and out-of-school suspension.

Benson also mentioned what is called a campus racial climate survey, which details incidents of interpersonal racism at each district campus.


"What we are finding is, one, the incidents are low, but they're there," he said. "With students and faculty who have been witness to or have experienced incidents, indicate they feel comfortable reporting [racially insensitive incidents], but when it comes to actually reporting, that number is low."

Therefore, Benson said, it will be necessary to revamp the district's infrastructure built upon ease of reporting incidents.

Benson also recommended school administrators attend the the Anti-Racist Leadership Institute, a program that includes a 40-hour anti-racist master class in addition to 12 weeks of ongoing coaching, in order to help develop more stable anti-racist practices.

The update came on the heels of a handful of parents who, at the same April 19 meeting, admonished the board, a Doris Miller Middle School teacher and SMCISD Superintendent Michael Cardona for their handling of a December incident during which a student reported witnessing a racial slur.

The racial equity audit was set in motion by the school board months before the incident, but Benson did mention it in the course of his update.

Benson said his firm is on track to provide full data findings and more specific recommendations to the district sometime in May.

"This is something the district had in the works ... prior to November," board member John McGlothlin said. "It's something we all collectively wanted to see in and around things we were hearing in a national conversation. I understand parents' concerns raised tonight."
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


MOST RECENT

Valentina’s offers breakfast and lunch tacos as well as barbecue. (Courtesy Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ)
South Austin's Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ will move to Buda in next year

The business announced it will be moving within the next year.

Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopened to the public in April. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopens in Austin; turf fields open in Pflugerville and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.

Notable menu items include the concept signature dish Huli Huli Chicken, which is marinated grilled teriyaki chicken, and Luau Pig, which is slow-roasted Kalua pork seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt. (Photo by Kathy Tran, courtesy Hawaiian Bros)
Hawaiian Bros to open first Texas brick-and-mortar location in Kyle May 11

A grand opening of the Kyle location will be held May 11 at 11 a.m., and the first 100 people will receive gift cards. One customer will also received free meals at Hawaiian Bros for a year.

(Courtesy Texas Water Safari)
San Marcos-Buda-Kyle May 2021 to-do list: An air show, film festival and farmers markets

From a film festival to an air show to farmers markets, the San Marcos-Buda-Kyle area is brimming with events in May and June.

Courtesy Parasol
9 businesses that are now open or coming soon in Buda and Kyle

From physical therapy to Hawaiian Cuisine, the area's commerce footprint continues to grow rapidly.

San Marcos City Council gave guidance to city staff after the parks and recreation board recommended paid parking be implemented at two of the city's river parks. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos to research paid parking at City Park for nonresidents

San Marcos City Council gave guidance to city staff after the parks and recreation board recommended paid parking be implemented at two of the city's river parks.

Air quality would be measured employees of the city of San Marcos when residents make complaints of air pollution or unwanted smells, which could result in fines. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos City Council considers ordinance to control air pollution and odors

Air quality would be measured employees of the city of San Marcos when residents make complaints of air pollution or unwanted smells, which could result in fines.

A rendering shows two new buildings planned for Airstream and ExploreUSA in Buda. (Courtesy city of Buda)
22-acre RV sales facility in Buda on path to major renovations

In order to facilitate the changes, Buda officials on May 4 passed the first readings of a two-part approval consisting of a rezoning of the site to B3, or I-35 business, as well as a specific use permit application for automobile and other vehicle sales in the B3 district.