A new task force for education was formed at GBM’s May Executive Committee meeting. The resolution, proposed by Economic Justice co-chair Kaydee Erdreich-Breman, called for a group that would 1) advocate for students, 2) holding the superintendent of Birmingham City Schools accountable, and 3) when necessary, ask hard questions of the city’s board of education.
The task force was born out of remarks made during Dr. Ed Lamonte’s address at the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast. In the speech, seen by some as controversial, Dr. Lamonte, himself a former interim city school superintendent and former Chief of Staff under Mayor Richard Arrington, expressed the need for an independent, third-party organization to promote and protect student interests, saying his first inclination was to look to Greater Birmingham Ministries for the formation of such an organization. Answering this call, Greater Birmingham Ministries held a series of meetings with Dr. Lamonte and members of GBM’s Economic Justice Workgroup to discuss the formation of the new task force.
The group is still in its nascent stages and has yet to establish a consistent meeting time. The group hopes to look closely at the depth and severity of the startling differences between area school systems and the implications of this serious justice issue. Please join us on September 14 here at GBM for a community luncheon from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM on this issue. Come share a meal as we thoughtfully and deliberately discuss school inequities and the directions we ought to take to improve education in Birmingham. We also plan further community discussion on the issue following our Board meeting on Tuesday, September 28th. Please visit our website to register for both and to keep posted on the development of the task force.