As United Methodist Women members & friends, we are called to do all we can to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Children of color, especially, are far too often targets of broken & biased systems. We know that racial disparities are rampant, with Black girls about six times as likely to be suspended as white girls.
Our legislators have a unique opportunity to help end school pushout by supporting an important new bill, HR5325, the Ending Punitive, Unfair, School-based Harm that is Overt & Unresponsive to Trauma (PUSHOUT) Act of 2019. The Ending PUSHOUT Act:
*creates a $2.5 billion fund to incentivize schools & states to abandon unfair and discriminatory disciplinary policies & practices that push children of color out of the classroom;
*strengthens civil rights monitoring & enforcement
*establishes a task force to address school pushout, with particular attention to the needs of girls of color.
Participating states & schools would be supported to invest in restorative practices, trauma-informed care, counselors, social workers & mental health professionals. Funds could not be used for police in schools. While this bill is not a one-and-done fix, it would be a substantial step forward in the ongoing work of interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline and ending school pushout.