LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – Thanks to a $600,000 grant, the Fayette County Schools District is establishing an Office of Educating Boys of Color to eliminate the racial disparities that have long existed in classroom settings for African-American and Hispanic young men.
The Lexington, Kentucky school district intends to use the grant from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust to implement a multifacted approach to meeting the needs of minority male students, who they recognize as their “most underserved demographic on every measure of success.”
Like in most other school districts, boys of color in Kentucky perform much lower than their white counterparts. According to the most recent data from the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress, young men of color have a math and reading proficiency rate of 28 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Conversely, white young men have math and reading proficiency rates of 61 percent and 67 percent, respectively.
“Since joining FCPS less than a year ago, I have seen and heard a great deal of frustration in the community,” said Fayette County Public School Superintendent Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk. “The data has shown for years that we needed a comprehensive intentional strategy to address the needs of our boys of color. We believe this is a game-changer.”
As Kentucky’s second largest school district, FCPS will use the grant to expand some of its existing programs that have proven to be successful in addition to launching new programs.
“We are done studying the problems, calling for task forces, and shaking our heads at the data. Today we stand before our community to say we will no longer allow a child’s demography to determine his destiny,” Caulk said in a recent press conference to announce the new office.
To learn more about Kentucky’s first Office of Educating Boys of Color, visit Fayette County Public Schools.