Houston ISD, along with Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD, will directly benefit from $1 million in investment the organization—Leadership ISD—received from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation as it continues to address racial equity in Texas public education.
"Racial equity matters in our schools, and policies that contribute to systemic racism must be reformed if our school systems are to achieve at high levels,” RCF President Jeremy Smith said in a March 2 news release. “LISD has changed how school boards and communities engage with public education in our urban districts and, increasingly, in surrounding districts. It is our hope that LISD will significantly improve opportunities and outcomes for students across the state.”
Leadership ISD has focused its efforts on the intersection of racial justice and educational excellence within the three districts for the last 10 years.
The organization targets equity change through a three-prong approach: engagement and advocacy programs; Racial Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership Academies; and governance training.
Since its inception, LISD has equipped more than 2,000 racially diverse and conscious leaders to create equity changes and trained more than 200 school board trustees on equitable governance, according to the release.
“We are honored to add the Rainwater Charitable Foundation to our circle of equity impact investors,” LISD CEO Patricia Arvanitis said in the news release. “This investment will increase the number of system-level policies and practices that improve student experiences and outcomes which will close racial disparities in our current service areas and accelerate our expansion into other districts around the state.”