We express gratitude to both Governor Spencer J. Cox and the legislature in recognizing our work regarding educational equity. In the call of the special session released today, the governor expressed a desire to have the Board continue its work in this area. To date, no Board Member has raised Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an agenda item to include in Utah’s K-12 schools, and advocates have not asked for specific theories to be taught. Rather, there has been a focus on educational equity and access to learning for all students.
The Board recognizes the current national discourse surrounding CRT, and its potential for divisive impacts on teachers, students, and families. We also recognize that how we respond and engage in this discourse will, too, carry impacts and provide lessons of its own.
We have been deeply engaged in efforts surrounding education equity, and race in schools over the past several months. The efforts have produced meaningful milestones including a working definition for “educational equity” and a Resolution Denouncing Racism and Embracing Equity in Utah Schools. Our current examination now centers on standards for how school districts and charter schools provide professional learning on equity.
The Board is working towards a more unified approach to improve conditions for learning, access, and opportunities. We remain committed to seeking equitable practices which are part of our conversations with educators and parents to engage families and educate all students well, including those from underrepresented groups. We look forward to continuing this work with sensitivity and careful consideration of all Utah citizens and students.