Knowing the Issues

Quality education is a foundation of our country’s ideals. Knowing the issue is a key place to start.

Education In Georgia

Fair Funding

Georgia does not adequately fund public schools. The state has not conducted a comprehensive cost study to understand modern costs associated with education, and it has historically and currently funds education at a level that is below the average of other states in the South and across the United States. This systematic lack of funding deprives students in Georgia of the resources they need to thrive and successfully prepare themselves for college and career. Find out more about fair funding in Georgia:

Creating Culturally-sustaining Schools for All  Students: Breaking the School-to-Prison and School-to-Deportation  Pipelines

Georgian schools use suspensions, corporal punishment, alternative school placements, expulsions, and police officers to punish students. When schools rely on these harmful methods, they put students at a higher risk of repeating a grade, dropping out of school, and having contact with the juvenile and adult criminal justice and immigration systems – a process known as the school-to-prison or school-to-deportation pipeline. Find out more about creating safe and welcoming pathways for all students in Georgia. 

Keeping the Public in Public Education

Public schools are publicly-funded, publicly-governed institutions meant to educate all students. Yet, increasingly, Georgia public schools’ limited dollars are being diverted to privately-run programs that have little public oversight and accountability. While proponents of these programs complain about under-performing public schools and argue that equity and family empowerment can be achieved through “school choice,” real family empowerment and student success stem from strong public schools, not private choices for a select few. Find out more keep the public in public education in Georgia.

Ensuring Excellent Educational Opportunities for Emergent Bilingual Students

Emergent bilingual students (also known as Emergent bilingual students) are valuable contributors to our communities, with the added asset of the potential to be bilingual, biliterate, and multicultural. Georgia is home to the eighth largest emergent bilingual population in the nation. Providing excellent education opportunities that ensure English mastery while honoring and supporting students’ home languages and cultures is not only good for students, families, and communities, but it is a civil right that must be protected. Find out more about emergent bilingual student education in Georgia.

Preparation and Access that Expands Opportunities

Gaining access to college opportunities is vital for the success of Georgia’s students. Students’ educational opportunities are harmed when policies and practices track students to less rigorous coursework or assign them to their post-secondary path based on assumptions about their abilities.  All students should be prepared and knowledgeable about how to access higher education if they so choose. Unfortunately, large disparities in attaining a college degree exist for students in Georgia based on race and ethnicity. Find out more about college preparation and access in Georgia.

Education In Texas

Creating Safe and Welcoming Pathways for All Students

Students need safe and welcoming school environments to learn. Disciplinary practices that push students out of classrooms, physically punish them, or put them into contact with police officers are ineffective and harmful. These punitive strategies cause students to miss important learning and social time with their teachers and peers; can lead to trauma and disengagement from school; and increase the likelihood of grade retention, students dropping out, and contact with the justice system. This process of exclusion, punishment and poor outcomes is known as the school-to-prison or school-to-deportation pipeline.

Rather than simply punishing students, schools should focus on creating safe and welcoming campus climates that put students on the pathway to college and life success. Find out more about IDRA’s work in Texas to create safe and welcoming pathways for all students.

Excellent Education for Emergent Bilingual Students

Emergent bilingual students have the civil right to access excellent educational opportunities that ensure English mastery while honoring and supporting their home languages and cultures. Emergent bilingual students make up nearly 20% of the Texas public school student population – over 1 million students. They are hurt by a number of policies and practices, including a lack of funding, shortages of qualified instructors, and incomplete data reporting about their progress and needs.

Read more about IDRA’s work to ensure excellent educational opportunities for emergent bilingual students.

Fair Funding for Strong Public School Education

Every public school should have the resources it needs to provide an excellent education to all students, including English learners and students in families with low incomes. To do this, the state should fund all public schools adequately and equitably. However, schools in Texas have struggled to get fair funding for decades.

Find out more about IDRA’s efforts to ensure fair funding for strong public school education.

College Preparation and Access that Expands Opportunity

All students should be prepared for success in college so they can determine their own futures. Research on the 21st Century workforce indicates most jobs require some level of education beyond high school. Yet students of color and students from families with limited incomes continue to face barriers to rigorous college preparation, access and success.

Learn more about IDRA’s efforts to ensure college preparation and access that expands opportunities.

Fair School Funding

Fair Funding for Strong Public School Education

Every public school should have the resources it needs to provide an excellent education to all students, including emergent bilingual students and students in families with low incomes. To do this, states must fund all public schools adequately and equitably. Unfortunately, schools in Texas, Georgia and throughout the U.S. South are funded much lower levels than schools in other parts of the country.

Although Louisiana and Virginia have hovered around the national average, as of 2017 all Southern states are below the national average. Several factors contribute to this disparity including outdated funding formulas and a lack of political will to fully fund education systems. States decide how much to spend on education based on formulas that allocate certain amounts to school districts based on their populations of students (per-pupil spending). Many southern states have not allocated the full amount called for in these formulas.

CHART: Per-Pupil Spending Levels in the U.S. South Lag Behind the National Average

Find out more about IDRA’s efforts to ensure fair funding for strong public school education.

Cultural and Ethnic Studies

Creating Culturally-sustaining Schools through Cultural and Ethnic Studies

All students benefit from learning culturally diverse curricula that include ethnic studies courses. Ethnic and cultural studies are much more than just texts or any number of books. It is a belated clarion-call to give children a fuller and truer sense of history. It is also a way for schools to give proof positive about the immense contribution of racial and ethnic minorities to who we are as a country. 

Furthermore, the research consistently shows that ethnic studies courses lead to improved standardized test scores, graduation rates, college attendance rates and academic mindsets.

Research consistently shows that ethnic studies courses lead to improved standardized test scores, graduation rates, college attendance rates and academic mindsets.

Learn more about IDRA’s efforts to promote cultural and ethnic studies. 

See our infographic: Ethnic Studies Can be Life-Changing 

The Georgia Department of Education has approved seven new cultural and ethnic studies courses available to Georgian students.

See our infographics for Georgia:

Student Discipline

Creating Safe and Welcoming Pathways for All Students

Students need safe and welcoming school environments to learn. Disciplinary practices that push students out of classrooms, physically punish them, or put them into contact with police officers are ineffective and harmful. These punitive strategies cause students to miss important learning and social time with their teachers and peers; can lead to trauma and disengagement from school; and increase the likelihood of grade retention, students dropping out, and contact with the justice system. This process of exclusion, punishment and poor outcomes is known as the “school-to-prison pipeline” or “school-to-deportation pipeline.”

Rather than punishing students, schools should focus on creating safe and welcoming campus climates that put students on the pathway to college and life success.

States throughout the U.S. South have some of the highest rates of discipline in the nation. As southern states rely on exclusionary discipline more than other states in the region, data show their rates of exclusion for students of color and students with disabilities are much higher than their proportion of the population. Additionally, states throughout the U.S. South have some of the highest levels of school surveillance and policing while having little access to counselors, social workers, nurses, or psychologists. Southern states are among the minority of states nationwide that allow and actively use corporal punishment.

My Groups

You are not part of any groups. Click here to join one.

Latest News

Banned Books Week at IDRA

Check out some of IDRA’s activities during Banned Books Week! Back a Book! Challenge September 18-24, 2022 For Banned Books Week, IDRA is building a

Read More »
Translate »