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How might states and LEAs use CARES Act flexibility to address systemic educational inequities and bring students together? Some initial thoughts in our new brief from Philip Tegeler and Jessica Mugler of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC).

Quick takeaways:
  • Even in trying times, equity and integration in schools should be prioritized.
  • The CARES Act provides flexibility for states and school districts to spend relief money to reduce systemic inequities and further school integration.
  • Remote learning offers opportunities to share resources across districts and to expose students to the benefits of diversity.

  • Tracking State School Aid Cuts in the Pandemic by Mary McKillip (Eduction Law Center, Aug. 25) "As the pandemic unfolds, ELC’s research shows that states are following the same budget cutting strategy as they did in the Great Recession. States are failing to build a firewall to shield K-12 public education from devastating aid cuts. They are also not distributing federal emergency funds 'progressively,' that is, allocating more of those funds to districts with the greatest need.'"

  • Judge Says Betsy DeVos Used ‘Manufactured Ambiguity’ to Push Aid to Private Schools by Matt Barnum (Chalkbeat, Aug. 25): "'[CARES Act] funding can be equitable even if it is not equal, which is certainly the case when Congress chooses to concentrate funding on those in the most need,' wrote [Judge] Rothstein, who pointed out that private schools will receive aid under either approach."
  • NCSD member Derek Black is quoted in this article: “It will have enormous sway elsewhere no matter what. Schools in other states will look to whatever law is available elsewhere if there is none in their state. So being first to the trough is crucial.”
  • See a related press release and brief from Intercultural Development Resource Association, as well as their policy brief, Ensuring Education Equity During and After COVID-19.

  • METCO Faces New Challenges Amid Mass. School Reopening Debate (via NBC100 Boston): 'Every district we work with is really examining the challenges of what are the needs of every family, and when there's a technology need, when there's a space need, when there's socio-emotional-support needs, the districts are finding ways to serve those families, whether they live in the district or whether they live in Boston,' said Colin Stokes of the organization.""
  • Additionally, METCO is planning a series of convenings this fall to build the organizing capacity of both Boston and suburban parents, and to provide content knowledge and change management practices within the leadership of the suburban school districts. 

Education Week discuss how Senator Kamala Harris's addition to the Democratic Presidential ticket could affect federal efforts for greater educational equity and school integration. Additionally, The 74 does a deep-dive into Senator Harris's evolving thinking on how to handle K-12 truancy.

Also check out other perspectives and tweets from: Jonathan E. Collins, the LA School Report, and Courtney Martin.

Flashback (July 2019): "Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) described busing as a tool to be considered for school desegregation" via HuffPost.

Booker, Castro Introduce Bill Aimed at Increasing the Enrollment of Underrepresented Students in Advanced Courses and Programs: "Under the Advanced Coursework Equity Act, eligible states and school districts could receive up to $60 million in grants to do things like expand enrollment in advanced courses, cover the costs of exam fees for low-income students and train and hire teachers to teach advanced courses."

Call or write your legislators in the House and Senate.
The New York Times "Nice White Parents" podcast has put educational equity in the zeitgeist.

Check out some of these perspectives -

METCO Featured in New YA Fiction
With 54 years of history, METCO has appeared in only a handful of non-fiction books, and as the primary subject of one major one (The Other Boston Busing Story by Susan Eaton).

Now, the first young adult novel portraying the experience of participating in METCO has just been released. 

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From by Jennifer De Leon is described by Kirkus Reviews as "a thought-provoking tale about navigating race and immigration issues." The book tells the story of Latina high school student Liliana, who commutes from Boston to the fictional town of Westburg and explores her multiple identities.

Read more about the book via Teen Vogue.
New publication:

New publication:

State Support for Local School Construction: Leveraging Equity and Diversity by Lauren Mittman, Nikhil De, and Philip Tegeler

Students Say NYC’s Public School Admissions Process Is Flawed. Here’s What They’d Do Instead by Emily Nonko (Next City, Aug. 27): “There is no whole-blanket solution for segregation,” [Leanne] Nunes explains. “We’ve worked to shape a model that best fits the community we’re trying to implement policies in. We don’t believe in having something done to us, we want to have a say in how it’s done and why it’s done.”
Learn more about NCSD membership, and apply, here.

NCSD Makes Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs's #OneAction To Take List:

NCSD was named as one of several educational justice organizations (including Integrated Schools and IntegrateNYC, among others) that people can support in Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs's How Learning Pods Can be More Equitable in Romper on Aug. 18. She writes: "Small, individual acts won’t solve racism in this country but action is needed to start to tackle harmful and problematic systems and it can begin with you in your home, your community, your kid’s school, and your workplace."

Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs urges readers take #OneAction to help chip away at racism: "Find a local non-profit that works on education justice and commit some time every week moving forward to following their lead and showing up for them in ways that are needed."

Two NCSD Research Advisory Members Make The Reading List Behind ‘Nice White Parents’ by Chana Joffe-Walt (New York Times, July 30).

The Impact of Middle School Integration Efforts on Segregation in Two New York City Districts: "Two broad conclusions emerge from this study. First, integration is possible. The results in District 15 show that a carefully designed and implemented integration plan can lead to a significant reduction in segregation, at least in the short term. Second, the details matter." Read the report from MarGrady Research.
The Public Good has created a free unit for teachers: "Coming Together Through Stories" is meant to help teachers learn to better help students cope with the social and emotional aspects of this current moment. Learn more here.
Increasingly federal fair housing laws and mandates are being threatened by the federal government. Recently that has taken the form of an attempt to rollback the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) mandate. Here we highlight some of the perspectives shared about the importance of the housing-schools nexus in terms furthering racial equity.

  • Housing Will Test White Support for Black Lives by Noah Y. Kim (Boston Globe, Aug. 21): "It's one thing to rally against racism. But will white people finally make it feasible for many more minorities to move into their neighborhoods?"

  • Opinion: Black Lives Matter by Richard Rothstein (New York Times, Aug. 14): "Winning the civil rights victories of the past required unusual dedication and persistence — extraordinary, really — and it will take more of the same to make Black lives matter in every neighborhood."

  • Suburban Segregation: A Tale of Two Rezonings by Dian Mawene (School Diversity Notebook, Aug. 11): "Despite the inevitable increase of diversity in race and class in Wells, long-term residents of the city have insisted on maintaining a long-standing aspect of the core identity of suburbia: homogeneity."

  • Race and Schools Are at the Core of Trump's 'Suburban Lifestyle Dream' by Andrew Ujifusa (Education Week, Aug. 10): "'Trump did not mention education directly in those comments about 'suburban housewives' and the suburbs...But they also serve to highlight how 'school policy is housing policy, and vice versa,' said Peter Piazza, a researcher at the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment who supports school integration efforts."



The Century Foundation
Critical Exposure
Civil Rights Project/
Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP)
Learning Policy Institute
Urban Institute
10/14 - 16
11/10 - 12
1/28 - 29
Diverse Charter Schools Coalition
Check out our conferences listing page, which is evolving given the COVID-19 crisis.
Please let us know of upcoming events, by emailing
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund * Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund  American Civil Liberties Union * Poverty & Race Research Action Council * Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law * Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund * Magnet Schools of America * One Nation Indivisible * Southern Poverty Law Center * Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School * Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA * Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University * University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights * Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University * The Othering & Belonging Institute * Education Rights Center, Howard University School of Law * Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota Law School * Education Law Center * New York Appleseed * Sheff Movement Coalition * Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation * ERASE Racism * Chicago Lawyers' Committee * Empire Justice Center * IntegrateNYC * Intercultural Development Research Association * Reimagining Integration: The Diverse and Equitable Schools Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education * Institute for Social Progress at Wayne County Community College District * Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity at Rutgers Law School * Equity Assistance Center (Region II) at Touro College * * The Office of Transformation and Innovation at the Dallas Independent School District * Live Baltimore * Maryland Equity Project Center for Education and Civil Rights * National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector * The Center for Diversity and Equality in Education at Rutgers University * Being Black at School * UnifiEd * The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy * Public Advocacy for Kids * The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools * Family and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children * The School Desegregation Notebook * Temperament, Affect, and Behavior in Schools (TABS) Lab * Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc. * Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. (METCO) * Learn Together, Live Together * Beloved Community * Chicago United for Equity * Learning Policy Center * Public School Forum of North Carolina * The Bell North Carolina Justice Center * 
Contact Us
 National Coalition on School Diversity
c/o Poverty and Race Research Action Council
Mailing Address: 740 15th St. NW #300 Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-544-5066