Equity Focus

High-quality education helps ensure that all children in the nation reach their full potential and succeed. While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, impacts and challenges may be experienced differently across and within different communities.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit the reset button. With the American Rescue Plan, States and districts have access to resources and funding to not only reopen our schools for in-person instruction, but to address gaps that existed before and were made worse by the pandemic. Let’s fix what wasn’t working before, and finally build an education system that works for all students — especially those furthest from opportunity.”
Dr. Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education

As the nation’s PreK-12 schools, early childhood programs, colleges and universities, and institutions of postsecondary education continue to reopen, a distinct focus on expanding equity in education must be top of mind. Communities have responded to the pandemic in innovative ways to ensure that students, young children, and families continue to have access to the tools they need to succeed, regardless of location or circumstance. Whether addressing connectivity needs, providing necessities, collaborating with community stakeholders, or supporting students and young children from a wide variety of backgrounds, providers from early childhood education to higher education have worked diligently throughout the pandemic to ensure that students and young children continue to succeed. Now, as students and young children continue to return to the classroom and programs, educational equity remains a central element in reopening plans.

The resources on this page share school, early childhood program, and campus strategies that specifically address equity. Teachers, early childhood providers, faculty, staff, schools, districts, early childhood programs, institutions of higher education, other places of educational instruction, and States may use these lessons learned, best practices, and Federal resources to create inclusive plans of action to support teachers, early childhood educators, faculty, and staff returning to schools, early childhood programs, and campuses.

Image of a Hispanic boy talking with a Hispanic girl and an African-American girl

Advancing Equity: Five Districts Focus on Improving Outcomes of Black and Latinx Students

This blog post shares examples of schools and districts creating safe and strengths-based environments to facilitate equitable learning for Black and Latinx students.

Image of multi-cultural teachers with computers speaking with students

Integrating Social and Emotional Learning Throughout the School System: A Compendium of Resources for District Leaders

This guide focuses on social emotional learning through an equity lens and offers resources for district leaders to use in implementing systems-level supports to ensure that social emotional learning is integrated into the full educational experiences of their students, families, staff, and community.

A group of Native Americans wearing masks

What Tribal Communities Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

Each tribal nation or State has its own plan for deciding who will be vaccinated first. Contact your health department or clinic to find out when and where vaccines will be available in your community.

Submit Your Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Have a lessons learned or best practice focused on helping to ensure equity as schools and campuses work to continually reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic? Visit the Best Practices Submission page to view details on submission requirements, and then e-mail Bestpracticesclearinghouse@ed.gov to share your lessons learned or best practice.

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