Fairfax County Public Schools plans to adopt new equity policy that allocates resources based on students’ “underserved” identities


The School Board of Fairfax County Public Schools plans to adopt a new equity policy on June 26, 2023. The school district explicitly states in the proposed equity policy that more resources will be allocated to “students who data show have been underserved.” The policy then goes a step further in stating that resources will be allocated according to the identity of students:

Engage in instructional practices which are inclusive in order to eliminate predictability of outcomes by identity group. Provide all students with relevant and meaningful learning experiences in which they are challenged and supported in a learner-centered and culturally responsive environment.

The term “culturally responsive” is often used to describe a method of teaching that includes the race and ethnicity of students as part of the lessons taught in classrooms. The proposed policy then appears to explain that future staff will be hired based on their identity: “Recruit, hire, develop, and retain a diverse team of highly-qualified teachers, administrators, and support professionals.” The policy also states that staff will be trained in equity practices by “requiring all stakeholders and practitioners within the system to uphold and maintain reflective practice and continuous professional learning.”

The policy states that the district will measure the success of equity programs by “academic outcomes,” “access to academic and extra-curricular programming and resources,” and “hiring, evaluation, promotion, and retention practices.” District staff must “provide annual reports to the School Board on progress and practices for each priority outlined by this Equity Policy.”

The policy further appears to explain that students will be forced to “act in support of their school environment.” The policy states:

Students will act in support of their school environment by honoring the identities of all members of their community, investing in their learning, empathizing with a broad array of experiences and, recognizing and appreciating all perspectives.