COLORADO SPRINGS — The Diversity and Equity Leadership Team in Colorado Springs School District 11 has paused its work after a significant change in the make-up of its school board this year.

In June of 2021, the American Institutes for Research conducted an independent audit of the District and found student achievement to be unequal with gaps both between and within schools.

The study found students in underserved groups, which include those eligible for free and reduced lunch, as well as Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American and multi-racial students who consistently underperform.

AIR found the same to be true of schools in the southeast quadrant of the District. D11 did put a team in place to address those inequities but concern of direction arose when three new conservative board members were voted in.

The team’s work, which was funded by a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation, is expected to resume at a later date with input from the new board.

However, because the grant will sunset at the end of the fiscal year, the board would have to agree to add the Diversity and Equity Department into the District’s general fund budget.

FOX21 News did reach out to all current board members for their perspectives but has not yet heard back.

The following are the report materials: