Profiles of state, municipal, and district policies that advance educational equity and promote stronger student, family, and community engagement in schools
This section features profiles of state, municipal, and district policies that advance educational equity and community engagement in public schools. The policies address a variety of issues, including eliminating racial bias and discrimination, improving parent and family engagement, promoting student participation in school decision-making, and instituting positive and restorative alternatives to exclusionary disciplinary practices such as suspensions and expulsions.
The policies were developed by educational agencies, school districts, community organizations, and advocacy campaigns working in partnership and solidarity with youth, families, and community members.
Each profile describes how the policy was developed, who was involved, and when it was adopted or passed. The profiles also feature the full text of the policy or relevant excerpts.
Organizing Engagement thanks the many individuals who generously contributed their time to help us develop the following profiles, which are intended to recognize the dedication, resolve, and perseverance of the districts, organizations, coalitions, and campaigns who steadfastly championed educational equity against challenging odds.
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- Dignity in Schools Campaign – Model Code on Education and Dignity
- District of Columbia – Student Fair Access to School Act
- Holmes County Consolidated School District – Ban on Corporal Punishment
- Lawrence Public Schools – Family and Student Engagement Policies
- Michigan State – Rethink Discipline Bills
- New Jersey State – An Act Concerning Expulsions and Suspensions for Young Students in New Jersey
- NYC Department of Education – Citywide Behavioral Expectations Limiting Exclusionary Discipline in Public Schools
- Portland Public Schools – School and Family Partnership Policy
- Providence Public Schools – Student Code of Conduct Policy
- Puget Sound Educational Service District – Racial Equity Policy
A model code that provides recommendations and policy language for schools, districts, states, and federal policymakers who want to end school pushout and the school-to-prison pipeline, uphold human rights in schools, protect the right to an equitable education, and ensure that all young people are treated with dignity and given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Profile developed in collaboration with the Dignity in Schools Campaign | Read more →
A citywide policy that provides student disciplinary protections and limits in-school suspensions, suspension days for a single incident, suspension days in a school year, and expulsions in DC public schools and charter schools. Profile developed in collaboration with Advocates for Justice and Education | Read more →
A district policy that bans all forms of corporal punishment in Holmes County, Mississippi, where state law still allows forms of corporal punishment, such as paddling, to be “administered in a reasonable manner” in public schools. Profile developed in collaboration with the Nollie Jenkins Family Center | Read more →
A set of three comprehensive district policies that address student and family engagement, two-way communication, and shared decision-making in schools. The policy-development process was led by a representative community committee and included multiple forms of youth, family, and community involvement. Profile developed in collaboration with Lawrence Public Schools | Read more →
A set of three statewide bills that revise the state’s former zero-tolerance law and address the overuse of exclusionary discipline practices such as suspensions and expulsions. The policies include a clause stating that student removals from school that exceed ten days are not justified until seven factors are considered, including whether or not less severe interventions could be used to address the issue. Profile developed in collaboration with the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan | Read more →
A state law that limits expulsions and out-of-school suspensions for pre-kindergarten through second-grade students in New Jersey’s public schools and charter schools. The bill also requires schools to implement early detection and prevention programs to identify and address behavioral issues in pre-school through second grade. Profile developed in collaboration with the Paterson Education Fund | Read more →
NYC Department of Education – Citywide Behavioral Expectations Limiting Exclusionary Discipline in Public Schools
A citywide policy that reduces the maximum length of out-of-school suspensions from 180 days to 20 days in New York City public schools, and standardizes restorative justice practices as a disciplinary intervention in middle schools and high schools. Profile developed in collaboration with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and Dignity in School Campaign–New York | Read more →
A district policy that establishes priorities and structures for shared decision-making and two-communication with students and families in Portland, Maine. The policy is based on specific recommendations developed by youth, parents, and educators using an inclusive dialogue process coordinated by community advocates and parent organizers. Profile developed in collaboration with Portland Empowered | Read more →
A district policy championed by youth leaders, organizers, and advocates that increases the use of positive and restorative disciplinary practices, and reduces suspensions and expulsions, in Providence Public Schools, Rhode Island’s largest school district. Profile developed in collaboration with Young Voices | Read more →
A policy that promotes racial, cultural, and socioeconomic equity and social justice in the public school systems of King and Pierce counties in Washington State. The policy formalizes the agency’s commitment to helping its partner districts eliminate opportunity gaps and achieve and sustain racial equity in education. Profile developed in collaboration with Puget Sound Educational Service District | Read more →