11 JUNE 2017 BODY OF CHRIST NEWS More Than an Equal Share Charter school advocates have long pointed to the high percent- age of minority students they serve as among the most morally compel- ling reasons charter schools ought to receive more money. The argument has been effective and support for charter schools has continued to grow in Colorado as evidenced by the recent passage of HB-1375 which gives charter schools an equal share of voter-approved tax increases. As the leader within the education reform community in this work, the Colorado League of Charter Schools has spent a great deal of energy fighting for more money for charter schools. We applaud those efforts. And we hope they will now turn their attention to spending commensurate energy fighting for diversity in leader- ship roles - starting with their own organization. There is an acknowl- edged and troubling lack of diversity throughout the education reform com- munity, but the Colorado League of Charter Schools has a unique respon- sibility to make diversity a priority. Because any person of color will tell you that the importance of having someone who looks like you in front of the classroom or in charge of the school cannot be overstated. This makes the absence of minority leadership within the charter school system more than a little concerning. But if the Colorado League of Charter Schools makes diversity a priority it will have positive impacts throughout the charter school system in our state. As the leading organization in this space, they have the opportunity to put a stake of inclusion in the ground which holds the potential to change the entire charter school landscape. Education reform leaders and community led orga- nizations are waiting to be engaged on this subject. This is possible to do. And it will be impossible to fully support the suc- cess of minority students without doing it. If the Colorado League of Charter Schools ignores this critical component of serving minority stu- dents, they will need to admit that it is a con- scious choice. And they will not be able to credibly claim to be fully committed to serving minority communities. We sincerely hope they choose instead to engage community and education reform leaders to help advise them on crafting a plan to create diversity and that they engage directly with the constituents they serve through com- munity conversations. In so doing, we can work together to make sure that students get the educators, role mod- els and advocates they deserve. Sean Bradley is the President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver By Sean Bradley COMMUNITY