(KRON) — Berkeley Unified could become the first school district to offer reparation payments to black students. An informational meeting was held Thursday night to create a task force that will eventually give recommendations to the school board.
The task force will be comprised of 15 to 20 volunteers from the community who will explore how the Berkeley School District should offer reparations. One of the biggest tasks of all is figuring out how they will pay for it.
Thursday’s meeting gave people the opportunity to learn more about the task force to see if they want to join it. Members will meet seven times this year in effort to form recommendations to the Berkeley School Board on how reparations can be done successfully.
Many Bay Area cities are considering reparations for black residents who are descendants of slavery. And so is the state of California, which would cost $800 billion.
The task force in Berkeley will be facilitated by a Berkeley school alumni Kad Smith. He says the hope is for school district’s reparations to supplement and align with any other reparations that could be approved by the state.
The school board president and director attended as well responding to a question they say they get a lot: Why should Berkeley Unified be the first in this country to do this?
The director says Berkeley was the first school district to desegregate schools without a court order, so why shouldn’t it be the first to offer reparations?
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Members will decide on a workable model and debate who the money would go towards current students or previous students, or both? All will be considered and discussed.
After the task force is formed, they will hold their first meeting will be April 24, all with a goal to make recommendations for the school board to vote on.