New postcard on Equity
SAU16 presents educational Equity with this misleading meme. It doesn’t depict Equity. It illustrates Equal Opportunity, enabling all to ride. According to SAU16, Equity is “equal outcome”*, that is, all riders forced to ride at the same pace, to the same place, instead of fulfilling their individual potentials.
We all want Equal Opportunity, and taxpayers already pay heavily for it. Our Special Education budgets and Student Support Services, including social workers, counselors, psychological services, and various therapies, are well funded. Here is our 2021-2022 budget for Equal Opportunity and Regular Instruction in all SAU16 districts combined*.
The above amounts do not include $62M for employee benefits, administration, facilities, transportation, etc.
SAU16 is not delivering what we pay for
Over time, we pay more and more taxes, for a shrinking enrollment, and get less results*. SAU16 neglects their primary mission, academics. This neglect diminishes children’s prospects, especially those who have the least home support. By neglecting academics, SAU16 generates and perpetuates inequality, and then they infuse our curriculum with a toxic ideology* blaming our community and our children!
SAU16’s Equity Experiment
SAU16’s Special Education and Student Support Services benefit students based on need. We find individual students who need more support than others and we help them, regardless of who they are. Why is SAU16 now emphasizing student “identity” instead of need? In this ideological social experiment, our need-based support system will become an identity-based support system. That’s Discrimination hidden behind the nice-sounding word “Equity”. Why would SAU16 do that? A possible reason is that powerful interest groups want it, and too many SAU16 Board members and employees either fear resisting it, or stand to gain from it.
What will come of this radical social experiment? Do our police officers harm students of color by their presence at our schools, or do they protect all students from catastrophe? Is it racial unity, or divisive stereotyping, to teach that some children are oppressors and others are victims? To lift up some students, must we put down others? If some must give up perceived privileges to restore Justice, why not our adult leaders, instead of our innocent children? Will this discrimination-based ideology of DEIJ and Critical Race Theory bring us together, or would focusing our schools on academic achievement bring us closer to Dr. King’s Dream?