Saturday, May 08, 2021

Letters

A More Just Experience

Thank you for your coverage of the equity positions included in the Guilford Board of Education (BOE) budget [ “Budget Sparks Criticism, Support of Schools’ Equity Work,” March 11]. The important additions to our school district of a part-time equity officer and the residency position, offered to a person of color to teach in our school system while they complete their graduate studies, represent a sincere commitment by members of the BOE to better prepare our students for the next phase of their adult lives.

I’d like to recognize the tremendous amount of time, thought, and transparency of process that went into this BOE budget. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Freeman was open and forthcoming with the community about proposed additions and changes to the budget. During public comment sessions, BOE members listened carefully to Guilford citizens. This budget includes many tweaks that took Guilford community concerns in to account, despite working under the constraints of minimal increase.

I’m proud to live and raise children in a town that is overwhelmingly supportive of equity and fairness. The article mentions criticism and push-back to the equity positions, however as a parent of three GPS students and an active community member, I disagree with your interpretation of this matter. From my view of our town, parent and family support for equity and fairness is very high.

I hope that both new positions mark the beginning of budgetary commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion across our district, including but not limited to hiring practices, curriculum, and professional development. I’d like to see the equity officer position develop into at minimum a full-time district employee, serving first the educational needs of students and families who identify as marginalized groups, which would in future lead to a more just educational experience for all our students.

Ornella Rullo
Guilford