Conservative school board wins across US could affect racial equity efforts – The Washington Post – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, many school districts turbocharged their focus on racial equity, examining their curriculum, hiring, discipline practices and more.

Last week’s election results may complicate those efforts.

In Virginia, education was a significant factor in Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s victory, after a campaign in which he emphasized parents’ rights to, for instance, block the teaching of a novel that shows the brutality of slavery.

And race was a factor in hundreds of school board elections and attempted recalls of school board members. It appears these challengers may have lost the majority of their races, though there is no comprehensive tally. Still, many observers argue that the victories these conservative candidates did notch, and the intense heat the races generated, will have ramifications nationwide.

People on both sides of the debate predict a chilling effect on school board members, superintendents and teachers who may now fear any effort to address racism inside their school systems will be called out as divisive, and that parents who oppose these efforts will feel newly emboldened to loudly protest.

“I think it’s a major impact frankly,” said Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, the School Superintendents Association. He said curriculums might be modified when parents complain and superintendents who support robust racial equity work might not be hired.

He noted that most school board members are elected in the spring and predicted these debates will grow more intense in the run-up to those contests.

“In those places where they have not had these problems yet, they are very cautious, concerned and careful,” he said. “This isn’t going to go away. This is going to spread and this is going to grow.”

And in communities where conservatives won seats, school boards may reconsider lessons about systemic racism, which often get labeled “critical race theory,” and scrutinize policies aimed at promoting diversity.

Teachers across the country are caught in the middle of the latest flash point in America’s culture war: critical race theory. Here’s what it entails. (Adriana Usero, Drea Cornejo, Brian Monroe/The Washington Post)

Scott Henry easily ousted an incumbent to take a seat on the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Ho


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