For Women's History Month, we're highlighting Daisy Bates, Sylvia Mendez, and Lucile Bluford.

If you are interested in collaborating on movement milestones content to uplift important people/events in our movement (including local history), please email
By Philip Tegeler, NCSD Steering Committee Member

Lots of news this past month! 

The new Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) funding notice was released in the Federal Register, and it includes some important diversity-related provisions – a strong focus on supporting voluntary or mandatory desegregation plans, encouraging inter-district and whole school magnets, and coordination with housing and transportation agencies (including HUD’s public housing redevelopment programs). 

Senator Chris Murphy and Representative Joe Courtney (both of Connecticut) released the “Magnet Schools Accessibility, Growth, and Non-exclusionary Enrollment Transformation Act of 2022,” which would increase magnet school funding and lock in many of the strong policy elements in the current funding notice (or "NOFA") that the Department of Education has the discretion to include, but which other administrations have the discretion to ignore. The proposed bill would also include a supplemental funding stream for continuation funding of magnet schools that perform well in achieving the program's goals. See what Magnet Schools of America had to say about the bill.

The 2022 budget was passed in both the Senate and House, with a $15 million increase in MSAP funding (to $124 million).

Although the Fostering Diverse Schools grants did not make it into the final FY 22 budget bill, Congress instructed (see pg. 123) the Department to prioritize capacity building and technical assistance funds under the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program (SSAE) to state and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) seeking to create and sustain integration. We were also happy to see Fostering Diverse Schools in the FY 23 budget request (see pg. 58)...stay tuned!
What We've Been Up To Recently
Do School Choice Programs Contribute to the Resegregation of American Schools?

NCSD's newest research brief, authored by Casey Cobb, summarizes research about the effects of school choice programs, and their differential designs, on school diversity.

Main takeaway: "[T]he evidence shows that if school choice programs cannot or do not pay attention to social class and race, they generally increase segregation among schools. That is, racially and ethnically diverse schools become less diverse under unregulated choice plans. Parents who enjoy social and economic advantages manage to maintain those advantages, especially in unregulated school choice programs. School choice policies consistently provide an advantage to the dominant cultural group (Cobb & Irizarry, 2020)." 
NCSD Presentation at NEA Leadership Summit

NCSD Director Gina Chirichigno and member Peter Piazza (of the School Diversity Notebook) led two virtual sessions at the National Education Association's Leadership Summit on March 12. The session was named "Beyond the Rhetoric of Restorative Justice: Using Data to Strengthen Safety & Belonging."
NCSD Working Group: Assessment/Accountability

Over the next few months, Peter Piazza (of the School Diversity Notebook is leading an NCSD working group on assessment and accountability.

Interested in learning more and/or plugging into this working group? Email Peter at
The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) is seeking peer reviewers from various professions and backgrounds to independently read, score, and provide timely, well-written comments on MSAP grant applications submitted for consideration in the FY 2022 MSAP Competition.

  • a priority for better coordination between charter schools and public school districts
  • a priority for diverse charters
  • a required “community impact analysis” to ensure that funded charter schools would not “negatively affect any desegregation efforts in the public school districts from which students are, or would be, drawn,” and “would not otherwise increase racial or socioeconomic segregation or isolation in the schools from which the students are, or would be, drawn.”

We encourage members to weigh in. Comments are due by April 13.
Trainings Available:

Race Forward and NYU Metro Center, in partnership with other H.E.A.L. (Honest Education Action & Leadership) Together partners, is proud to offer public virtual trainings for students, educators, and parents to fight for strong, equitable public schools and a multiracial democracy.

All trainings take place on Wednesdays at 7 PM EST / 4 PM PST starting on April 13th (and running through July).

  • New blog post: Rethinking the Two-Tour Pledge is Exposure Enough - “Our movement toward anti-racist school integration isn’t just about making a different choice, although that is an essential step, it’s about interrupting the disturbing trend of White and otherwise privileged families concentrating resources in a small number of schools."

  • OBI director john a. powell was interviewed for a CBS Sunday morning show on the issue of free speech and censorship. Check it out here

On the ground update:

Resource kit:

*The Integration Coalition was created to bring together organizational leaders across the city that advocate for integration to strengthen our messaging and advocacy through collective work. At present, Integration Coalition meetings are consistently attended by 5 organizations: IntegrateNYC (student-led), The Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation, Teens Take Charge (student-led), The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, and the Integration and Innovation Initiative out of the NYU Metro Center.

If you are interested in learning more about, or getting involved in, integration efforts in NYC, contact Nyah Berg at

  • IDRA Summer 2022 Internship Program: Learn more here and apply! The deadline is April 8th.

  • The Center for Education and Civil Rights (CECR) at Pennsylvania State University has compiled a list of resources to assist early childhood and K-12 educators in talking about race and racism in the classroom. It starts with overarching resources that we think could be useful across the age spectrum, followed by resources organized loosely by age (early childhood, elementary, middle/high school). Included in this list are links to relevant CECR research and past events, as well as resources by other organizations whose work has proven valuable to us. We invite your contributions!

March 24th marked the 56th anniversary of METCO, an interdistrict integration program which connects 37 communities and enrolls over 3,200 students in Massachusetts.

In celebration of its birthday, you can support METCO in two ways:

Call your legislator in support of METCO’s state funding. Every year, we have to advocate to our state representatives and senators on Beacon Hill for METCO to receive its annual funding to continue to operate in every town. Let them know it matters to you!

Find your local legislators here and call or email today in support of METCO’s full funding request of $30 million for fiscal year 2023.

  • NCSD RAP Member Rucker Johnson received coverage in Chalkbeat, Closing Arguments in Pennsylvania School Funding Case Set for Thursday: “One witness for the plaintiffs, economist Rucker Johnson of the University of California, presented a study of states where similar school funding lawsuits were successful and resulted in year-over-year increases in per-pupil spending. For people in those states from low-income backgrounds, this study found, there were improvements on such measures as high school graduation, family income, and incarceration rates.” 

Check out our NCSD RAP member page to learn more.

  • NCSD member Janel George was quoted in a CNN article about classroom censorship: “What we're witnessing now in terms of legislative restrictions following on the heels of racial progress is not new. Our country has experienced these kinds of legislative restrictions before -- including after Reconstruction with the imposition of Jim Crow laws designed to maintain the racial subordination of emancipated Black people.”

  • Tune in virtually: On March 31, UCONN School of Law will celebrate NCSD member John Brittain and reflect on his many significant achievements as a faculty member, including the landmark 1996 Connecticut Supreme Court decision in Sheff v. O’Neill that successfully challenged the segregation of Hartford-area public schools. Speakers include: Elizabeth Horton Sheff, Lead Plaintiff; Martha Stone, Center for Children’s Advocacy; Philip Tegeler, Poverty & Race Research Action Council; Derek Black, University of South Carolina School of Law; and Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation. (This is a hybrid event w/limited in-person seating capacity.)
Connecticut -

  • Related: Has Connecticut Finally Arrived at a Solution for Hartford Schools? (Connecticut Mirror, February 1) - "The results of these various settlements have consistently fallen short of providing Hartford students with equal educational opportunities, but [Plaintiff’s Counsel, Martha Stone, Center for Children’s Advocacy] said that unlike in previous settlements, in this case there is a concrete plan with funding attached. 'Not only is the state agreeable to meet the demand, but it’s being backed up by a concrete plan and some funding to implement the plan,' she said. 'If they do not meet the demand we can go back to court at any time.'"
District of Columbia -

  • Caught in a Culture War, Georgetown Day School Holds Fast to Its Mission by Erica L. Green (New York Times, March 24) - "[W]hat resonated most among members of the Georgetown Day community was [Judge Ketanji Jackson's] description of the school’s 'special history,' citing the Jewish and Black families who banded together to create the institution in 1945 because their children could not attend public schools together."
Massachusetts -

  • The Only Way to Fix Boston Schools Once and for All by David Scharfenberg (Boston Globe, March 18) - "Martha Stone, a lawyer who has worked on Sheff from the start, says states like Massachusetts — with constitutional provisions guaranteeing both a quality education and equal protection under the law — are ripe for similar litigation. Advocates may have to spend years in the courts. But it’s worth it, she suggests, if it means deploying one of the most powerful — and underutilized — strategies for fixing failing schools. Integration 'absolutely needs to be pushed as one of the remedies,' Stone says. 'I mean, look at the results of some of the other initiatives — they haven’t worked.'"
Michigan -

  • School Segregation Reduces Life Expectancy in the U.S. Black Population by 9 Years by Robert A. Hahn (Health Equity, 2022) - "This study indicates the causal link between school segregation and high school graduation and the association of graduation and life expectancy. It estimates the reduction in life expectancy associated with school segregation and characterizes the prevalence of school segregation of black students in states. Lack of high school completion is associated with a reduction in life expectancy of 9 years—similar to that of smoking. The prevalence of black school segregation ( > 50% minority) is greatest in the Northeast (81.1%), next highest in the South (78.1), next in the Midwest (68.4%), and lowest in the West (13.6%). Known remedies to school segregation must be implemented to eliminate this root of health inequity."
New Jersey -

  • N.J. Defends ‘Segregated’ School System in Court. Will its Case Hold Up? by Adam Clark (NJ Advance Media, March 3) - "The plaintiffs are asking [Judge] Lougy for a summary judgment that de facto segregation exists in New Jersey schools. That ruling would then allow both sides to work together on a remedy, said former state Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein, who helped spearhead the legal challenge."

  • Related: Court Weighs Potentially Landmark NJ School Segregation Case by Karen Yi (Gothamist, March 3) - “'The big reason why we are where we are is because we have very significant segregation in housing,' said [NCSD member] Elise Boddie, professor of law at Rutgers Law School and founder of The Inclusion Project at Rutgers. 'Because we have a state law that more or less requires students to attend school where they live, those systems of residential segregation carry into our school system.'”
  • Why Teachers Are Afraid to Teach History by Rachel Cohen (The New Republic, March 28) - "In the end, as communities continue to spar, it will be students who pay the price for the laws, rules, and cultural pressures that deter educators from tackling so-called divisive subjects. A wealth of research, from both nationally representative samples of schools and individual schools, has shown that students who are encouraged to discuss controversial issues are more likely to develop civic tolerance, political interests, a sense of civic duty, and expectations of voting than their peers without similar classroom experiences." 
  • School Closures Intensify Gentrification in Black Neighborhoods Nationwide, Stanford Study Finds by Carrie Spector (Stanford Graduate School of Education, March 28) - "The closure of Black schools increased the residential desirability of surrounding neighborhoods in a way that wasn’t observed in other community types: When school closures happened in white and Latinx communities, the researchers found little evidence of property values rising or more affluent households moving in. In other words, said Pearman, 'school closures help jump-start the gentrification process, but only in Black neighborhoods.'"
What do you think about school dress codes?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent, nonpartisan agency of Congress, has been asked to study dress code policies and the enforcement of these policies in public schools. To help it better understand the impact dress codes can have on students and families, the GAO is asking for volunteers to fill out a short questionnaire if they:

  • Have one or more children currently enrolled in a public school with a dress code or uniform policy; or
  • Had a child or children enrolled in a public school with a dress code or uniform policy as recently as the 2019-20 school year?

The questionnaire should take less than 10 minutes to complete. The deadline is April 15, 2022.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Education Law Center
Empowered Parents in Community (EPiC)
Howard University, Center for Journalism & Democracy
Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law
Metis Associates
Open Communities Alliance
Othering & Belonging Institute
Public Advocates
4/2 - 4/4
San Diego, CA
National School Board Association - The event that brings together education leaders to learn about the best governance practices, gain insight into child development and learn about new programs and technology that can help enrich student learning.
4/5 - 4/8
McLean, VA
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law - The event is designed to train, engage, and provide opportunities for networking and dialogue among child welfare professionals.
4/18 - 4/22
Clark County, NV
Magnet Schools of America - More than a thousand magnet school teachers, principals, and administrators from across the country participate in MSA’s annual meeting. It features outstanding keynote speakers and sessions focusing on best practices in curriculum and instruction, technology integration, school leadership, and magnet school design.
4/21 - 4/26
Hybrid: San Diego, CA
American Educational Research Association - The theme is "Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century." Held in collaboration with the World Education Research Association 2022 Focal Meeting. The 2022 Annual Meeting is a dual-component conference with sessions offered on-site in San Diego, CA, and other sessions offered on a virtual platform.
4/22 - 4/24
St. Louis, MO
American Federation of Teachers - There will be a wide range of paraprofessionals and school-related personnel
development workshops to help strengthen our union, develop leadership skills and equip workers with new tools to help activists advocate for our professions.
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 * The School Desegregation Notebook 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 * The Bridges Collaborative at The Century Foundation * South Side Early Learning * Oneonta For Equality * NestQuest * Metis Associates
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