Ensuring Equity and Excellence for Educating All Students in the Face of Challenges: A Conversation with School Leaders and a Legal Expert

Proceedings from the Spring 2024 Advisory Council Meeting of the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center (WEEAC)

K-12 education leaders are presented with numerous challenges including limited funding, staff shortages, staffing issues, lack of confidence from the communities they serve, and negative student outcomes, among others. And yet, men and women committed to making a difference in the lives of students, regardless of their race, national origin, gender, or religion, continue to step up to these challenges.

Currently, leaders are also faced with the challenge of ensuring high quality education for students while complying with federal and state laws that may be contradictory or in conflict. Recently, our WEEAC staff received several inquiries from educators across the region seeking clarity on how to meet their obligations in the face of these contradictions.

In response, the WEEAC Spring 2024 Advisory Council meeting focused on how to address this challenge. We invited two of our WEEAC Advisory Council members who have vast experience at the local, state and national levels, Dr. Melissa Sadorf and Dr. Christina Kishimoto, to discuss what education leaders can do. We also invited Attorney Art Coleman, one of the nation’s leading legal voices supporting access, diversity and inclusion in education, to present information about current federal and state laws and to clarify leaders’ responsibilities. This meeting was the first of several WEEAC activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Brown Decision and the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

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