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Townsend Gides accepts University of Michigan job, addresses MCCSC segregation

Jacinda Townsend Gides

(Courtesy: Jacinda Townsend Gides)

Jacinda Townsend Gides resigned her seat on the MCCSC School Board last week after accepting a new position as a professor at the University of Michigan.

She said she commuted to Ann Arbor since August, while her children remained in MCCSC schools. Eventually the commute became too much, and her family relocated Jan. 3.

“I’m truly sad to be leaving the board because I feel like there is so much more work I wanted to help do,” she said.

READ MORE: MCCSC board member resigns, board elects new officers

One issue she hoped to address was increasing racial and socioeconomic equity in public schools. In a resignation statement, Townsend Gides said MCCSC received a report titled “The Equity Model: Increasing Educational Equity by Redrawing School Catchment Boundaries in Monroe County, Indiana” that the current board and administration swept under the rug.

“This report contains comprehensive data on the current level of segregation in MCCSC and delineates the continuing harm that it is doing in perpetuating inequitable access to educational resources and opportunities,” Townsend Gides said.

Fifteen students in the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs completed the report in summer 2020 in partnership with the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. It contains a plan to integrate local schools by redrawing boundary lines originally set between 1990 and 2005. 

MCCSC last addressed the topic in a fireside update with parents in November 2019, in which it discussed the history of redistricting in Monroe County. The district did not commit to redrawing school boundaries at this time, but it sought parents’ input on the subject.  

The district is accepting applications through Jan.13 for people looking to serve the remainder of Townsend Gides’s term, which lasts through 2024.  

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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