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Education Trust launches voter project on education equity

A nonprofit that advocates for low-income students and students of color is using this year’s school board elections to draw attention to  equity in education.

The Education Trust-New York has launched a new project, “For the Students,” focused on five issues: access to rigorous courses; access to diverse educators; pathways to graduation; suspensions and the school-to prison pipeline; and how to allocate resources to support students with the greatest needs.

The project is designed to engage school board candidates and raise public awareness on these issues, particularly in Buffalo where all nine seats are on the ballot for the first time in 15 years. The School Board election in Buffalo is May 7.

“This year’s elections offer an opportunity to focus the public discussion on some of the issues that matter most in ensuring all students are prepared for a successful future,” said Ian Rosenblum, executive director of Education Trust-New York.

The project includes a website, forthestudentsny.org, aimed at informing voters on education equity issues.

Equity in education has been a recurring theme from the state. For the first time, it is requiring districts across New York to report school-by-school budgets to give the public a clearer picture of how school districts allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in resources.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took that one step further in his budget for next year by proposing a law that requires school districts to distribute funding based on an equity formula, although the proposal has received some pushback.

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