GovernanceCorner Practical tips from our MIG faculty

Supporting educational equity for all students
A central role of a school district or county office of education board of trustees is to set policies for the local educational agency. It is important for board members, as local policymakers, to understand their role in supporting access to programs that serve the educational needs of all students. Board members must commit to having conversations on equity when adopting policies, especially when accounting for the needs of the most vulnerable students. Equity-centered decisions are supported by the development of a long-term equity plan. These considerations are particularly critical as boards make decisions regarding distance learning and work to ensure that supports and resources are available and accessible for all students and their families.

Boards might consider discussing the following questions to start an equity conversation:

  • What is the role of our board in leading educational equity for our district or county office of education?
  • What is our board’s common definition of equity? How do we communicate this to our students and families, teachers and staff, and the larger community?
  • What story does our data tell us about all students’ access to our educational programs? How can we use this data to guide our discussions and decisions?
  • What are the current barriers that will prevent some students from successfully engaging in distance learning? How can we mitigate, and even eliminate, these barriers?
  • What community stakeholders could we partner with that could help provide supports and resources to students, families and teachers during this time of distance learning?
  • What are the opportunities within our district or county office of education to improve supports and services for our students who have been traditionally underserved?
  • What professional development on equity do we offer to teachers, staff, administrators and our board?

Board members are entrusted with the success of every student, which means they have a critical leadership role to play in closing opportunity and achievement gaps. Leading with an equity-driven agenda will support this work. CSBA provides guidance and support to board members through a dedicated webpage at and through the CSBA Online Learning Center in the “Educational Equity” module, which will be available in July 2020.