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CPS Board Turns Equality Philosophy Into Policy

The Board of Education unanimously adopted a policy that will eliminate disparate practices among students and schools.

Cincinnati Board of Education has adopted a district-wide equity policy.

The move takes a value and turns it into a policy, according to district spokesperson Janet Walsh.

"It will impact just about everyone in Cincinnati Public Schools including students," Walsh says.

"Significantly making sure that resources of the district really fit all of their needs; recognizing that needs are different from student to student,'' says Walsh. "It will impact every department. It will be the lens through which operations are really looked at going forward in all decisions made."

The policy covers gender, race, ethnicity religion, ability, and economic background, as well as any other category.

"We are a diverse school district in terms of demographics, in terms of the whole spectrum of differences among our families in our community and we embrace them as a district; and this makes it a matter of policy," Walsh says.

Walsh says the equity policy recognizes that some students may need more or different resources than others.

"And I think it is pretty well settled that sometimes students who are in impoverished neighborhoods actually need more resources than other students in other schools.," Walsh says.

The policy requires the superintendent and treasurer to create a plan to insure the district's rules, operations, and budget reflect the diversity.

Walsh says the board will review the plan from the superintendent and treasurer before it is accepted. There is no timetable for that, but Walsh says the plan will be put together as soon as possible.

Cincinnati Public Schools is the largest public school district in southwest Ohio, with about 34,000 students.