The Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County affirms the right of quality and effective education for all students. The School Board of Alachua County, like many boards of education around the county, faces significant challenges related to providing quality education to our black students. Alachua County continues to struggle with a significant achievement gap with black students, a significantly disproportionate level of suspensions of black students, and a significant lack of enrollment of black students in magnet programs and higher level courses. While the school board has developed an equity plan, some in the community believe the plan does not adequately address the underlying needs, that the development of the plan did not adequately include the affected community, and that the plan does not propose significant changes in the ideology and practices necessary to bring the improvements that all parties desire. The Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County is committed to helping address this concern and affirms that the six core principles of the National Economic & Social Rights Initiative outlined below:
What is the Human Right to Education?
The right to education ensures access to quality schools and to an education that is directed towards the full development of the human personality. NESRI uses six priority human rights principles in our work that are fundamental to guaranteeing the right to education and are of particular relevance to education reform efforts in the United States:
Individual Rights: Every individual child must have equal access to a quality education adapted to meet his or her needs.
Aims of Education: The aims of education must be directed toward the development of each child’s personality and full potential, preparing children to participate in society and to do work that is rewarding and reasonably remunerative, and to continue learning throughout life.
Dignity: Schools must respect the inherent dignity of every child creating an environment of respect and tolerance in the classroom, preventing practices and disciplinary policies that cause harm or humiliation to children, and promoting self-confidence and self-expression.
Equity: There must be equitable distribution of resources in education across communities according to need.
Non-Discrimination: The government must ensure that the human right to education “will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
Participation: Students, parents and communities have the right to participate in decisions that affect their schools and the right to education.