Policies that create equitable opportunities for our students

Royce Mann is running to be your next Seat 7 At-Large member on the Board of Education so that we can continue to end segregation in APS. Let’s expand equitable access to early education, invest in counselors instead of cops, and develop a curriculum across all grade levels that is culturally responsive, promotes civic engagement and community involvement, and prepares students for college, career, and life.

Royce Mann’s Platform

Prioritize early education and literacy

  • Ensure access to early education and Pre-K for all APS families, prioritizing families that cannot afford enrolling in a private preschool.
  • Simplify the district’s Pre-K application process to ensure it is accessible to all families.
  • Place a greater focus on literacy and support the district’s PreK-12 Literacy Plan to ensure all students are reading at grade level by the end of fifth grade while also expanding individualized literacy coaching for middle and high school students.

End the existing racial and economic segregation within APS

  • Require that every school place students in classes so that every class is relatively representative of the school’s racial diversity. 
  • Redistrict existing school clusters to ensure more parity amongst clusters when it comes to economic and racial diversity.
  • Support existing partnership and charter schools while opposing the formation of new charters and any further privatization of community schools.
  • End the practice of segregating students with disabilities in academic and social settings except when deemed absolutely necessary.

Increase resources and support for low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities

  • Utilize innovative funding sources including outside donors to provide greater support to low-income students.
  • Close the teacher experience gap by providing financial incentives to attract and retain highly experienced teachers at schools with a poverty rate of 70% or more.
  • Adjust the Student Success Funding Formula to divert additional money to schools with a high concentration of poverty and schools with a high percentage of ELL students.
  • Support new and existing community partnerships to provide increased wrap-around services to families in need.
  • Work with the Department of Special Education to increase opportunities for students with disabilities to engage with and learn alongside their peers without disabilities, recognizing the positive impact this has on all students.
  • Partner with MARTA to provide access to free public transportation to all middle and high school students and follow the lead of other cities by creating student IDs that have MARTA cards built-in.

Ensure curriculum is culturally relevant and prepares students for college, career, and life

  • Prioritize the use of materials written and created by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, and individuals from other historically underrepresented groups, especially in English & Language Arts and Social Studies.
  • Expand CTAE (Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education) and vocational training opportunities.
  • Establish a permanent Curriculum Relevancy Advisory Council of leaders from different STEAM professions to advise the district on making curriculum better suited for preparing students for present-day professional opportunities.
  • Create a one-semester financial literacy course available to all high school students.
  • Reform the gifted program to ensure it is accessible and equitable.
  • Ensure health and sexual education curriculum is LGBTQIA affirming and inclusive and effectively teaches students about consent.
  • Expand DLI (Dual Language Immersion) across the district, beginning with the Mays and Therrell clusters where it will serve to enhance the IB (International Baccalaureate) programs.
  • Support the Black Lives Matter At School movement and their demand that districts mandate black history and ethnic studies and hire more black teachers.

Combat the school-to-prison pipeline through restorative justice and mental health support

  • End the practice of Out-of-School Suspensions.
  • Restructure the APS Safety and Security Department and end the criminalization of students for low level offenses.
  • Divert funds away from APS Police and towards counselors, social workers, and conflict intervention & substance abuse specialists.
  • Increase resources and support for alternative schools and the students they serve.
  • Provide a free in-school annual mental health counseling check-in for each high school student and increase support for SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) at all grade levels.
  • Support the Black Lives Matter At School movement and their demand that districts end zero tolerance discipline and fund counselors not cops.

Increase student, teacher, and community engagement

  • Empower students to influence district policy-making and intentionally seek out student input when discussing the strategic plan and budget.
  • Prioritize student input in the development and implementation of SEL programs and curriculum.
  • Expand the Student Advisory Council and give it greater power to propose and initiate policy changes.
  • Allow students one excused absence per semester for civic involvement and political activism, which often requires participation during school hours.
  • Create a more streamlined and effective system for receiving and responding to input from teachers and other school-level staff.
  • Follow the lead of teachers when making decisions concerning remote, hybrid, and face-to-face learning and create opportunities for teachers to share and discuss best practices.
  • Utilize successful practices from partnership and charter schools to create and implement innovative strategies across the district.
  • Increase funding to hire Parent Liaisons with the goal of eventually having one at every school.
  • Support implementation of the Student Outcomes Focused Governance model to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of board decisions.