Advancement Project and Tenants and Workers United React to Alexandria City Public School Board’s Refusal to Fully Fund Holistic Supports for Students
Washington, DC — On February 16th, 2023, the Alexandria City Public School Board (ACPS) voted to approve a proposed budget for the 2024 school year that includes only minor increases in funding for student mental health supports and restorative practices. At the same time, the Board voted to add funding for security guards and equipment and adopted a recommendation that the city fund school police. This is the latest step to reverse the City Council’s 2021 commitment to permanently remove police from schools.
“Though we are disappointed by this decision, the fight continues,” said Evelin Urrutia, Executive Director of Tenants and Workers United. “Our students have suffered through a global pandemic and need ACPS leadership to be proactive, not reactive, to address their needs. Young people demanded that the school board fund solutions like necessary mental and emotional supports. While the Alexandria City School Board has added 4.5 additional school psychologists and 1 restorative practices staff member in response to our demands, this is not nearly enough — especially in light of the increased security funding and the continued presence of police in schools. We want schools that are safe and welcoming for all students, and this cannot be accomplished without fully funding holistic supports.”
“We stand with our partner, Tenants and Workers United, in calling on the Alexandria City Public School Board to listen to young people. ACPS must invest in school climates where young people are actually safe and can learn and thrive,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “This requires fully funding mental health and restorative practices, not relying on reactive measures like surveillance and policing. ACPS is devoting its limited resources to security and surveillance that criminalize young people, especially Black, Latinx, and other students of color. The district must do better”
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Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org to learn more.
Tenants and Workers United builds power in low-income, immigrant communities of color to improve the quality of our lives in Northern Virginia. We organize and support people to be agents of change in their own lives by addressing the issues they care about.