SDIRC and NAACP Agree on Partial Unitary Status With Three Year Plan

SDIRC and NAACP Agree on Partial Unitary Status With Three Year Plan
Posted on 08/24/2018

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Contact: Cristen Maddux

Telephone: 772-564-5527

Email:  Cristen.maddux@indianriverschools.org

Website: www.indianriverschools.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 24, 2018

SDIRC AND NAACP AGREE ON PARTIAL UNITARY STATUS WITH THREE YEAR PLAN

Vero Beach, FL, August 24, 2018– The School Board of Indian River County, Florida and the Indian River County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Indian River NAACP) will work collaboratively and cooperatively towards their shared goal of achieving a fully-integrated school system under the matter styled Sharpton, et al. v. School Board of Indian River County, FL, No. 1:64-cv-00721 (S.D. Fla.).

SDIRC School Board Chairman, Shawn Frost, stated, “This is a great day for Indian River County. On behalf of the entire Board, we are excited that we have reached an agreement in partnership with the NAACP. The Board has remained unanimously committed to this accomplishment, and a special recognition is due to past Board members who shared this commitment - Matt McCain and Claudia Jimenez. This begins a new era of uniting as a community.”

In order to attain this goal, the School Board will create an Equity Committee that reports directly to the School Board and shall be responsible for monitoring and documenting compliance with the [August 2018] Desegregation Order and for making recommendations to the Board.

Based on its record of compliance with prior orders and the data and information exchanged, the School District of Indian River County has already achieved unitary status in the area of facilities, non-instructional staff, and administrative staff, and the purpose of the Equity Committee is to maintain a high level of accountability to the School Board and citizenry in ensuring compliance with the remaining requirements of the [August 2018] Order and facilitating the achievement of full unitary status.

While the parties agree that the School District is entitled to a declaration of partial unitary status already in the area of facilities, non-instructional staff, and administrative staff, other areas remain to achieve full unitary status. Therefore, the Equity Committee will monitor the School District's progress in these remaining areas for a period of three school years, which time period will begin at the Equity Committee's first meeting. If, at the end of the three years, the School District has complied with the remaining requirements of this agreement, the parties agree that the School District will be entitled to a declaration of unitary status in all areas.

SDIRC Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell, added, “Educational outcomes for African American students in Indian River County have improved greatly in the last three years. For example, the graduation rate for African American students has risen from 65% to 80%. In addition, the percentage of African American students taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses has grown almost threefold from 7.7% to 21.4%. While these increases are very positive, we are not done. Working together with the NAACP, we can build on these gains and ensure that all of our students receive the highest quality education possible."

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Cristen Maddux at 772-564-5527 or email at Cristen.maddux@indianriverschools.org.