Parents Defending Education received an email dated June 8, 2020, from a public records request to the Austin Independent School District that contained a document for a job description. The job title was “Grant Specialist – Cultural Proficiency.” The description of the job appears to focus on equity: “Employees in this position must be skilled in supporting the proactive equity-focused implementation of youth violence and victimization prevention, intervention and accountability in a middle and/or high school-based setting.” The job description also appears to state that the person who fills the position must support “social justice” and racial equity:
Incumbent must have the ability to manage thoughtfully the personal, political and institutional dynamics related to equity, access and social justice issues in central office departments and schools. Incumbent must have proven ability to address issues of race equity and educational access in programming implementation.
The job description later adds: “This position demonstrates a commitment to children and families and maintains an expertise related to cultural proficiency, culturally-responsive pedagogy, social justice, whole child, anti-bias education, equity, access and restorative educational practices.” The term “culturally responsive” is often used to describe a method of teaching that includes the race and ethnicity of students. The position must also “operate from a culturally responsive restorative lens in all aspects of job-related functions and roles.” The position also had an “essential function” to:
Engage in ongoing professional learning to provide Anti Racist and Equity centered service delivery, build personal capacity, enhance skills to remain in compliance and to build an understanding of cultural responsiveness, cultural proficiency, social emotional skill development, positive child identity development, response to intervention and relevance of all to restorative practices.
The position was federally funded by a “three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.”