Strong early childhood care and education are critical for development into adolescence and adulthood. It is clear, however, that inequitable disciplinary practices exist in early learning settings. Preschool age children are expelled and suspended at rates that are three times higher than K-12 settings and are disproportionally experienced by children of color and boys, particularly Black boys. Join in on a conversation with ONE Houston, a community of parents and educators who have organized disciplinary reform in Houston, and Aurora Public Schools as we discuss collective responsibility and approaches to systemic reform.
About the speakers:
Jaison Oliver is a Houston-based organizer devoted to expanding access to affordable professional development for educators. In addition to his work as a consultant and professional tutor, he collaborates with various organizations to catalyze the adoption of restorative justice practices and make education policy changes. His community work spans the areas of music, culture, tech, and social justice, and is facilitated through several organizations including the ImagiNoir Collective, Education Leaders of Color, Houston 2036, ONE Houston, the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the Restorative Justice Collaborative of Houston. Jaison is a Detroit native and an alumnus of Yale University's School of Engineering & Applied Science.
Rico Munn serves as the 16th superintendent of Aurora Public Schools. Prior to joining APS, Munn served in a variety of leadership roles in Colorado’s legal and business communities. In 2012, he was appointed to the Board of Governors for the Colorado State University System by Governor John Hickenlooper and currently serves in this position. In 2002, he was elected to the Colorado State Board of Education where he served until 2007. In addition, he was a member of Governor Bill Ritter’s Cabinet where he served as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education from 2009-2011.
Munn also served on Governor Ritter’s Cabinet as executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies from 2007-2009 where he oversaw the Colorado Divisions of Civil Rights, Banking, Real Estate, Insurance, Financial Services, Securities, Professional Licensure, Public Utilities and Consumer Counsel.
Munn has also been a successful attorney and practiced commercial litigation with a national law firm for over a decade. He describes his law degree as “a graduate degree in problem solving.” As a litigator, Munn dealt with a wide variety of people and situations, including financing, construction, education, refugee populations and crisis management.
Munn is active in the metro area’s non-profit community. He served on the Denver Foundation Board and was a founder of the Denver Urban Debate League. Currently he sits on the board of Early Milestones Colorado, an early childhood education organization.
Munn is a graduate of Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, where he received his B.A. in secondary education and was named Student Teacher of the Year in 1993. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.
About the moderator:
Bill Jaeger serves as the Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a non-profit, non-partisan research, policy, and advocacy organization committed to ensuring every chance for every child. Bill has spent more than a fifteen years teaching, studying, and working on issues in public education and public policy. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education before spending several years as a public school teacher and administrator in the greater Hartford, Connecticut area. Bill also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and a Master’s in Political Science and worked in several positions in the non-profit sector prior to joining the Colorado Children’s Campaign. His research has been published in American Politics Research and State Politics and Policy Quarterly and he currently serves as a Colorado Children and Families Health and Human Services Ascend Fellow with the Aspen Institute. He also serves on the Boards of the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), and Mile High Early Learning. At the Children’s Campaign, Bill has led efforts to advance child care, early learning, and mental health policy efforts to support Colorado’s youngest children. Recent legislation that the Children’s Campaign has championed in these areas include HB 14-1317 to reform our state’s child care subsidy program, SB 14-003 to establish the “Cliff Effect” Pilot Program, HB 15-1317 to create “pay for success” programs in Colorado, HB16-1227 to lower barriers to child care for teen parents and survivors of domestic violence, and SB 17-103 to embed early learning strategies as part of school turnaround efforts.