We all want our schools to be safe, inviting and positive places for all students. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. We are grappling with a history of systemic racism and police brutality against Black Americans in our country—a national reckoning that is playing out in our schools, too. As the research base grows on the negative impacts of over-policing in schools, particularly for Black students, there is mounting pressure for districts to cut ties with police departments in favor of other investments to create the safe, welcoming, and supportive school climates that we want for all students.
This “emerging insights” brief aims to support districts in engaging with 3 important questions, naming some of the common challenges and opportunities, to ultimately help align resource use to vision. We explore each key questions in more detail, sharing observations from more than 15 years of experience helping school systems transform how they use their resources to better support students, as well as learnings from existing research in the field, initial conversations with district leaders, and insights from our comparative financial database of over 25 districts.