“Diverse, but not equitable.” Parents Expose East Lansing School District’s Equity Issues 

The East Lansing Public School Board met on Oct. 9 for their first school board meeting of the month. Board members listened to the progress and plan for the professional development days on five Fridays during the 2023-24 school year – and addressed critics about the efficacy of these initiatives in promoting more equity in the school district.   

Assistant Superintendent Glenn Mitcham of East Lansing Public Schools gave a presentation on the professional development days and the goals and plans that the district has set forth for the development days for the 2023-24 school year. The mission statement and goals that have been set forth for the ELPS for the 2023-24 school year include sessions for teachers at the elementary and secondary schools about nurturing each child, educating all students, and building world citizens.  

The sessions include forty-nine 2.5-hour sessions that teachers can choose from throughout the five professional development days this year. During the professional development days, the elementary school teachers will be primarily focused on building the SEL and PBIS alignment, while the secondary school teachers are focused on building work groups.   

While some people believe that the professional development days are good for the teachers to participate in and will help students to excel in the classroom, others believe that they won’t help with the equity problems that have plagued the school district recently. 

Brandi Branson, a member of the East Lansing Parent Advocacy team and an East Lansing resident with three children attending school in the district believes that the professional development days are not being looked at through an equity lens.