Karen Keys-Gamarra

School Board, At Large Fairfax County, VA

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When slavery sums up a child’s exposure to black history in a classroom, there is need for a change in the educational system. When discipline referrals for black, brown and special education students are more than three times those of their counterparts, there is need for a change in the educational system. When Advanced Learning classes don’t reflect the diversity of the community, there is need for a change in the educational system. Such issues negatively impact Fairfax schools. Karen ran for School Board in the 10th largest school system in the nation because she wanted to make sure all students have access to quality education. As an African American attorney who represents the best interests of children and works to remove barriers for kids every day, she recognizes that this effort necessarily includes addressing concerns within the educational system. Karen works to remove barriers to education every day. From leading efforts to remove confederate names from the district’s schools to revising discipline procedures to reduce referrals and keeping kids in school, Karen is not afraid to address the difficult issues. She has fought for greater access to advanced learning opportunities. And she has advocated for a curriculum that reflects the history of the student body and a workforce that brings the strength of diversity to the district’s schools. When the culture of the school is changed, then the district will see the achievement gap disappear and the communities become stronger as a whole.

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