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IPS board discusses charter to include culturally responsive advisory group

Indianapolis Public Schools discusses Culturally Responsive and Equitable Education Committee Charter

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Public School Board may soon have a new official advisory committee to help improve education equity.

The Culturally Responsive and Equitable Education Committee, or CREE, will look into making a more equitable framework for the district. Their central goal is to recommend policy changes to the board to make IPS’ education framework equitable and culturally responsive.

The board already has received a large group of people interested in serving on the committee. The IPS Board asked for teachers, parents, students, and community leaders to apply. They have received over 70 applications as of Tuesday.

Nicole Carey, the District Five commissioner, will serve on this official committee alongside Commissioner Diane Arnold from District Four. It will be a ten-person committee with meetings open to the public.

“We’re going to have deeper conversations about things that are of importance in our district like procurement or who are we having business with, with school discipline and policing, with academics and co-curricular activities,” Carey said.

“There was some wording from years ago about how we could not serve some students with documentation statuses. I know in practice that does not happen in the district but it is on the book,” Carey said. “So, things like that send a message to what we value as a board. We want to make sure all students understand we are here for equitable education.”

“This committee will not make any official decision or take any specific actions, but we will create a community-designed framework that will be a recommendation to the board,” Carey also added.

The charter to make the committee an official advisory group could be voted on as early as Thursday.

The creation of this committee comes as IPS moves forward with the recently approved $410 million Capital Referendum. This referendum focuses primarily on school buildings, as 30% of district facilities have received unfavorable ratings. It will also allow more students to have equitable learning environments.