Owensboro Public Schools taking steps to promote racial equality

Owensboro Public Schools taking steps to promote racial equality

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Leaders with Owensboro Public Schools are making an extra effort to promote equality across their schools.

14 News spoke with Superintendent Matthew Constant about what the district is calling the Equity Plan.

“I just felt like it was time for us to take a stand in our district," Constant said.

He says of his nearly 5,000 students, one-third of them self-reported as Black, brown or multiracial.

After a summer of civil unrest across the nation, Constant says he’s prepared to take steps to promote equality for all students in Owensboro Public Schools.

“To sum it up, we need to make sure that both inside and outside the classroom, our students of color feel supported," Constant said.

Inside the classroom, the goal for the Equity Plan is to reevaluate the curriculum to make sure it’s culturally relevant. School officials also hope to improve mentorships and work on a more diverse staff.

“We need to have teachers teaching our kids that look like them," Constant said.

The superintendent says the Equity Plan also extends outside the classroom.

“When kids are coming home, are families feeling like the school district is fighting for them, advocating for them, caring about them?”

Constant knows this plan will develop over time, especially as we move through the coronavirus pandemic. However, he says that now was the perfect time to get it started.

“But we cannot turn our back right now on what we are seeing with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor - just to name a couple of things that are going on in this country that are affecting our kids,” Constant said. "And so we’re just going to do both. We’re going through a pandemic, and we’re going to address these issues because they’re timely, and we’ve got to.”

Superintendent Constant tells 14 News the next step will be speaking directly with students and families to get feedback. He says the goal is to create a program that will not only help the school district, but the Owensboro community as well.

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