The Center for Policing Equity Partners with the Schott Foundation to Help End the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

Contact:
Lauren E. Williams, lauren@policingequity.org
DeQuendre Neeley-Bertrand, db@schottfoundation.org

The Center for Policing Equity Partners with the Schott Foundation to Help End the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Florida

(New York, NY) – This month, the Schott Foundation for Public Education awarded the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) $795,000 to support its Policing and Discipline Equity Project (PDEP). The initiative collects and analyzes data to address school discipline practices in Florida’s Broward County Public Schools.

“Fairness in policing begins on day one. That’s what makes our work with Broward County so important,” said CPE’s President and Co-Founder Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff. “If we can help establish trust between school resource officers and our children, we decrease the likelihood of issues with law enforcement later in life. We can also use these data to call out injustice and reform school discipline policies. CPE’s goal is to promote equity throughout the lifespan. I thank the Schott Foundation for awarding us this grant, allowing us to further this urgent research.”

CPE began working on the PDEP with Broward County in 2016 in partnership with the Advancement Project. The PDEP aims to reduce racial disparities in suspensions, expulsions, and other disciplinary practices for students and to identify contributing factors to persistent discipline disparities and school arrests.

“Many advocates have taken to the media to call out the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ and its devastating effects on communities, but few have asked why the pipeline is there in the first place and why some school leaders take the actions they do,” said Dr. R. Nicole Johnson-Ahorlu, director of CPE’s Juvenile Justice and Education initiative. “CPE has stepped in to answer these questions and provide the much-needed research to help school officials nationwide make better decisions for all our children.”

The PDEP involves surveys of students, teachers, and principals. Parents participate in focus groups, and researchers analyze multiple sets of data. CPE will use the findings of the study to:

1) inform the development of an implicit bias training for educators and school resource officers;
2) support the restructuring of hiring and training practices;
3) adjust the servicing of student and employee needs in schools; and
4) modify written policies to improve school discipline and school policing practices in Florida.

CPE’s grant aligns with the Schott Foundation’s mission to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality PreK-12 public education. Schott supports multiple national campaigns that are fighting for systemic change in the disparities that poor children and children of color face in our nation’s schools.

“You can’t teach children who aren’t in school. Excessive suspensions reduce students’ instructional time and widens the opportunity gap,” said Schott’s President and CEO John H. Jackson. “We are encouraged by the leadership of CPE and other community partners in bringing discipline data to life and elevating the voices of those most affected by these policies.”

Click here to learn more about the Center for Policing Equity and the Policing and Discipline Equity Project.

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The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing some of the nation’s biggest social challenges through data and accountability. CPE works with police departments, communities, and political stakeholders to look for ways to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The Schott Foundation for Public Education aims to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality PreK-12 public education. Schott’s core belief is that well-resourced grassroots campaigns can lead to systemic change in the disparities poor children and children of color face in our nation’s schools. In helping to build these campaigns into a movement, Schott recognizes its pivotal role as both funder and advocate to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn.