Addressing Education Inequity
by Mary Ann Cook,
The Episcopal Church of St. Michael & St. George, Clayton
At the beginning of the pandemic, we all became much more aware of social inequity in our communities. The COVID-19 case and death statistics revealed that Black and brown communities suffered more than white communities and poorer communities suffered more than wealthier communities. We know that those who work in the service professions, who live in crowded multigenerational housing, who have chronic diseases, who use public transportation, and who live in poverty are more likely to become infected and more likely to die. One inequity which results in poverty and poor health is lack of access to a quality, equitable education.
For many of us our lives have returned to normal. Unfortunately, normal means that education inequities continue. At the Church of St. Michael and St George, we established the Education Equity Ministry as a means of addressing the inequities in the schools around us. But education inequity is not solely an urban issue. It can be found in every part of our diocese and it is a systemic problem at the statewide level.
Bishop Deon has indicated his support for a diocesan-wide ministry to address inequities in education. Does your church work with a school? Would you like your church to? How can we help overcome education inequities in our diocesan communities and in the state of Missouri? Currently more than 25% of school districts are open only four days a week because of a lack of funding.
To begin discussions on what we have done and what we can do, please contact Mary Ann Cook, Church of St. Michael and St. George to express your interest.