Reinstate the Coordinator of Diversity & Inclusion in the HCPSS FY2017 budget

The Howard County Board of Education eliminated the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion position from the 2017 fiscal budget. On Tuesday, May 31st, despite requests from a host of community members and two board members to postpone the voting to encourage additional discussion and despite having 30 days to submit a finalized budget to the Maryland Department of Education, the board hastily moved to finalize the budget, which resulted in the detrimental cut of the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator.

A mere three months prior to cutting the much needed Diversity and Inclusion
Coordinator, the Board unanimously voted to create this position. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-diversity-coordinator-0225-20160218-story.html

The Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion would have worked to increase workforce diversity, evaluated and expanded cultural proficiency training for staff and teachers, reviewed and provided guidance for the reporting system of discriminatory and racial acts and made recommendations to develop a curriculum that reflects Howard County’s diverse student population. Without the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, the aforementioned actions may not occur, racial tension and disparities will likely remain high, and the entire learning process may continue to be disrupted and uncomfortable for students who are targeted. In addition to public tension stemming from acts such as the hateful racial rant video and students who draped themselves in the Confederate flag, there are a plethora of non-public discriminatory occurrences that students, teachers and staff face on a daily basis.

Howard County cannot commit to correcting these issues absent an expert
designated to address them. Howard County is behind neighboring counties in creating this position as Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Anne Arundel County created similar positions several year ago. We ask for the same! A full-time Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion is necessary if Howard County desires an excellent school system that celebrates diversity and fosters a positive learning experience for all students.

By signing this petition, I strongly request that the Howard County Board of Education restore the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion position in the school system’s 2017 budget.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • HCPSS Board of Education


    African American Community Roundtable started this petition with a single signature, and now has 205 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.