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DoEd Advancing Equity in Education

June 14, 2021 by Ansley Puckett
In this March 18, 2021, photo, pre-kindergarten students work on their school work at West Orange Elementary School in Orange, Calif. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its social distancing guidelines for schools Friday, March 19, saying students can now sit 3 feet apart in classrooms. The new guidelines also remove recommendations for plastic shields or other barriers between desks. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Department of Education is taking action to advance equity in education and ensure that schools are serving students across the nation.

According to a release on Wednesday, the Department of Education has published a report detailing the varying impacts of COVID-19 on K-12 and higher-level education students in marginalized or underserved communities.

Other actions outlined in the release include new guidance for states as they invest American Rescue Plan funds in schools and communities with less access to educational opportunities. The guidance also ensures that school districts with the highest poverty levels will not receive any per-student funding decrease that goes below their pre-pandemic levels.

Beginning on June 22, the Department of Education will also virtually launch an Equity Summit Series, which will focus on how schools and campuses can reopen for in-person instruction without returning to “the status quo.” According to the release, the first installment will guide schools on how to give every student a voice, including students from underserved communities.

Participants in the summit will include Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten and others. Those who are interested in participating can register to attend online. 

“Our mission at the Department is to safely reopen schools for in-person learning, dramatically increase investments in communities that for too long have been furthest from opportunity, and reimagine our schools so that all students have their needs met,” said Cardona.

These actions are a part of the Department’s efforts to implement President Bidens’s day one Executive Order to support marginalized communities and advance racial equity.

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