School Board member Jacinda Townsend criticizes MCCSC districting in resignation letter

She highlights racial and socio-economic disparity between elementary schools.

Jack Crystal, Staff Writer

  Jacinda Townsend Gides, an award winning author and MCCSC School Board Trustee has resigned from her position and in her resignation letter she focused on the problems with the diversity and racial equity in the MCCSC elementary and middle schools.

       She talked about the obvious class and race disparities between the elementary and middle schools and how the situation with these schools is nearly segregated with one school having an 45% non-white students with an 83% free and reduced lunch population and another school with an 11% free and reduced lunch population and a 3% non-white population.

        She also mentioned the schools that tend to have non-white and underprivileged children are also funded less since some students didn’t get a new, state-of-the-art middle school, a reference to Tri-North. She thinks that public education is designed for upper middle-class white children and wants the school system to improve this. IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs wrote a 128-page report called ‘the Equity Model: Increasing Educational Equity by Redrawing School Catchment Boundaries in Monroe County, Indiana” that highlighted the disparities. Their report was sent to the school board which can make changes with the boundaries of the district to help lower the level of segregation.

       Townsend claimed the report was ignored by the MCCSC School Board. “The current board and administration then swept completely under the rug” Townsend said in her letter.

      Townsend resigned from her MCCSC school board position to take a job as Visiting Professor teaching fiction writing at the University of Michigan.