As students return to schools during the pandemic, educators work to accelerate learning, deepen student understanding, and address long-standing inequities that negatively impact student outcomes, especially for students who are underserved.

These four resources aim to help educators address equity issues in four ways — fair funding allocation, dedication to self-care, honoring student voice, and investment in restorative practices.

Budgeting for Educational Equity Podcast Series

How can educators better understand and allocate resources to meet the needs of all students, especially those who are underserved? That’s the story explored in this new limited podcast series presented by the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) and WestEd.

Each Budgeting for Educational Equity episode, hosted by Jason Willis, WestEd’s Director of Strategic Resource Planning and Implementation, welcomes educators to discuss funding, school and district improvement, and strategies to advance resource equity across all levels of California’s public education system.

The first three episodes are available now and more are to come. Visit the podcast page to get started.

Other resources for budgeting for equity:

Why Your Wellness Matters: The Intersections of Leaders’ Mental Health, Systems Change, and Equity

This professional learning session shares ideas and strategies for county office of education (COE) leaders to help them focus on their mental health while also working toward equity. Attendees reflect on personal and professional sustainability and how to stay connected to the “why” of equity work while taking tangible steps to create systemwide change. Hosted by the COVID Education Equity Response Collaborative’s Equity Accelerator.

View Why Your Wellness Matters.

Check out another resource for educator self-care:

To Achieve Racial Equity in Education, Include Students as Co-Creators

As part of the COVID Education Equity Response Collaborative, WestEd is leading a year-long Equity Accelerator to support California county offices of education (COEs) in aligning their whole-child and whole-school efforts around a vision of racial equity.

During this turbulent year, many educators have been looking for ways to be more responsive to the needs and aspirations of all students, especially students of color and other marginalized populations. To begin exploring how educators can promote racial equity, we spoke with the Director of the Equity Accelerator, Christina Pate.

“When it comes to improving systems and achieving equity,” Pate says, “a paradigm shift that involves a shared vision of equity and a culture of co-creation is needed. A co-creation perspective affirms that value is created by students and that leadership and decision-making is shared with students. This requires a shift from doing ‘to’ or ‘for’ students to co-creating ‘with’ students.” A first step is engaging in authentic and actionable conversations with students about how to best design school systems that better respond to their hopes, needs, and aspirations.

Read more on our Insights blog.

Another resource for student voice:

Can Restorative Practices Bridge Racial Disparities in Schools? Evidence from the California Healthy Kids Survey

In California, Black students have markedly lower academic achievement than their White peers and Black students are also more likely to experience exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions (Cano, 2020; Losen & Martinez, 2020). What can be done to mitigate these racial disparities in schools?

In this brief, we investigate whether increasing student exposure to restorative practices could help reduce racial discipline and achievement gaps, with a review of a large sample of secondary students who completed the California Healthy Kids Survey between the 2013/14 and 2018/19 school years.

The analysis found that, across racial groups, students who had larger exposure to restorative practices saw less exposure to exclusionary discipline and better academic outcomes.

Download and read the full brief.

Another resource about restorative practices:

Read our latest E-Bulletin for more resources for the new school year and subscribe to receive the E-Bulletin in your inbox.

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