2022 Grant Award

Equity Assistance Centers

Fiscal Year: 2022

ALN Subprogram: 84.004D

Grantee Name


Obligated Amount

Fiscal Year

ALN Subprogram

ALN Title

Application Narrative*

Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium





Equity Assistance Centers

Region I Project Narrative (MAEC)

Southern Education Foundation





Equity Assistance Centers

Region II Project Narrative (SEF)

Trustees of Indiana University





Equity Assistance Centers

Region III Project Narrative (Indiana University)






Equity Assistance Centers

Region IV Project Narrative (WestEd)

Region I

Mid Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. (MD) proposes the Center for Education Equity (CEE) as the Region I Equity Assistance Center. MAEC is the lead applicant and is partnering with WestEd, AIR [American Institutes for Research], and SRI [Strategic Resources, Inc.] as sub-contractors. CEE builds on MAEC’s 30-year track record of developing and implementing successful applications of evidenced-based strategies and capacity building to produce long-term change and increase outcomes. Contributions to research, policy, and practice: Continuous Improvement for Equity model, MAEC’s Equity Audit Tool, and revisions to inequitable LEA policies.  CEE’s Goals: (1) Improve and sustain the systemic capacity of public education systems to address problems caused by desegregation and inequities. (2) Increase equitable educational opportunities for all students regardless of race, sex/gender identity, religion, and national origin. (3) Increase equity for traditionally underrepresented students through diverse partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions. CEE’s Outcomes: (1) Increased compliance with civil rights laws; (2) Increased student access to educational opportunities; (3) Decreased sexual harassment and bullying; (4) Decreased over-representation in discipline; (5) Increased student access to high quality teachers and rigorous curriculum; (6) Increased use of various sources of data, including disaggregated data, to inform improvement strategies and goals; (7) Increased family, school, and community engagement; (8) Increased collaboration with HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs; and (9) Increased student engagement, achievement, and wellness.  Populations to be served: Region I students 9,898,754, including 4,888,305 students of color.  Primary Activities: A comprehensive, multi-tiered system of TA to address goals and objectives. Tier I: Universal TA develops and disseminates educational equity research, evidence-based practices, resources, products, and information through the CEE and Continuous Improvement for Equity Hub websites, and print formats; and facilitates virtual learning opportunities. Tier II: Targeted TA (short-term) includes designing/facilitating professional learning experiences, coordinating with other TA providers, and creating communities of practice, strategic convenings, and training. Tier III: Intensive TA (long-term) includes school and/or district systems change with partners and/or the Offices for Civil Rights and the Department of Justice, using a multistep process (needs assessment, goal setting, TA planning, implementation, and evaluation).

Region II

Southern Education Foundation, Inc. (GA) proposes a collaboration between the Southern Education Foundation and Westat – “The EAC-South at SEF” – is uniquely positioned to take up EAC work in Region II, given the high-caliber personnel we bring and our exceptional work in equity and technical assistance (TA). Our leadership – including SEF President Raymond Pierce, Director Tonya Gentry, and Senior Advisor Donna Elam – has direct experience working in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and collaborating with and referring school districts to EACs, along with a robust sense of the history that led to the development of the original Desegregation Assistance Centers. We have assembled a team of extremely respected advisors and content experts with deep expertise in all the equity areas of focus for the EAC. Westat, SEF’s sub recipient on this project, will contribute to the design and provision of high-quality TA. Our goals for the project are aimed at closing outcome and opportunity gaps. They include: 1) broadening the work of the EAC-South to address more equity areas, focusing holistically on stakeholder needs and equity at the intersections, and supporting a broader range of stakeholders across more of the region; 2) increasing stakeholders’ use of evidence-based resources and policy to mitigate inequities; 3) drawing on improvement science tools to adapt and customize our TA to partners’ specific needs in context; and 4) increasing stakeholders’ ability to address inequities and issues of desegregation and to increase the opportunities that are offered to all students, ultimately leading to improved educational outcomes and decreased equity gaps for students, as well as sustained ability for stakeholders to address desegregation needs. In order to achieve these outcomes, we will draw on and expand our broad partner networks, including a range of local and national equity organizations; HBCUs, HACUs, MSls, TCUs, and other educational institutions across the region; districts and district leaders in Region II with whom we already have deep relationships; and organizations including and representing children and families. These partners will form a Stakeholder Cadre that will vet and inform our work as we seek to identify and meet the specific equity needs of our stakeholders in ways that bring about holistic and systemic change. Region II is home to more than half of LEAs with active desegregation orders, representing more than one million students. It features major documented achievement disparities for students of color, students with disabilities, English Learners, and those living in rural communities. It also has needs related to issues of sex and gender equity and to addressing religious discrimination, today often tied to ethnicity or national origin. SEF has a 150+ year history of work in this region and a nuanced understanding of its history and current context, and we will continue to sharpen our understanding of the specific needs as we support SEAs, LEAs, federal agencies and programs, TA providers, and professional organizations in supporting this population. We present a tiered TA approach tied to a carefully designed theory of action to assess and address needs in the region that leverages recent understanding of how to measure educational equity. This includes on-site support and virtual coaching, creation of communities of practice, and development of a range of tools and resources that reflect and expand on the equity work we already do. We will continually analyze evidence and stakeholder input to understand the needs of our clients, to monitor improvements in equity outcomes and opportunities, to inform and engage education leaders, and to cultivate and communicate about solutions and improvements that can be scaled and sustained across our networks. We will do this with a focus on expanding what is known about effective and equitable policy and practice for students in the South and by adding to the literature around how innovative approaches and equity ideas can be combined to produce measurable results. SEF is the nation’s oldest education and civil rights organization, and it has been doing work that is deeply aligned with the mandates of the EACs throughout its history. By drawing on this history, teaming with a widely respected and highly effective TA organization in Westat, establishing a Stakeholder Cadre to inform each step of project implementation, and building an exceptional team of advisors and thought leaders to guide us and shape our ability to provide districts with needed support at an appropriate level with clear connections to specific achievable equity goals, we propose to advance the work of the Equity Assistance Centers in ways that are forward-thinking and grounded in historical and contextual knowledge and a holistic and systemic view of equity. Our deep commitment to and knowledge of each state across this region and DC, our many collaborative partnerships, and our compassionate focus on students and the outcomes that matter make us the right people to do this work.

Region III

Trustees of Indiana University (IN) proposes, as the continuing Region III Equity Assistance Center, the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center’s mission is to ensure equitable educational access, participation, and outcomes by expanding state and local education agencies’ (SEA/LEA) capacities to provide effective opportunities to learn for all students, regardless of race, sex, national origin, religion, as well as language, disability, and income, and to eliminate inequities among and between groups. Our TA services are of outstanding appropriateness and quality to meet the needs of Region III’s SEAs and LEAs. We will provide TA upon request of and in relation to needs of school boards, SEAs, LEAs, and other government agencies for the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for equity, including desegregation based on race, national origin, sex, and religion, and development of effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation. Our TA goals include: (1) Ensuring student civil rights and integration related to race, sex, national origin, religion, income, and disability (2) Mitigating adverse educational effects of COVID-19 by increasing system capacities to facilitate continuity of learning for all students, including via online learning; (3) Building supports for students’ mental and social health, especially in underserved communities; (4) Improving climate through prevention of and response to sexual, racial, and other forms of bullying and harassment, including online; (5) Ensuring recruitment, retention, and distribution of effective, diverse educators, and addressing teacher shortages exacerbated by COVID-19; (6) Building cross-stakeholder partnerships, including those toward safe, welcoming environments for refugee students and English learners; (7) Ensuring appropriate integration of students with disabilities at race, sex, national origin, and religion intersections; (8) Supporting data-based decision making on research-based policies and practices; (9) Addressing discriminatory discipline policies and practices; and (10) Supporting LEAs transitioning to unitary status in desegregation cases and restructuring for racial and socio-economic diversity.

Region IV

WestEd(CA) a private, non-profit organization, in partnership with subcontractors Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), Attendance Works, and the Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC), proposes the Western Educational Equity Assistance Center (WEEAC) to (1) provide technical assistance (TA) at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies across Region IV in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools based on race, national origin, sex, and religion and (2) in the development of effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation. The WEEAC will serve over 12.4 million public school students across Region IV’s 13 states and three territories – Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Through combination of universal, targeted, and intensive TA, the WEEAC aims to provide desegregation assistance and address special educational problems occasioned by desegregation to provide more equitable educational opportunities for all students, regardless of race, national origin, sex, and religion. In Year 1 of the project, the WEEAC plans to focus universal TA projects on addressing chronic absenteeism and reducing bullying and harassment through an online learning series. The WEEAC will provide 5 intensive TA projects focused on specific regional needs and context. We propose regional learning communities that include Tribal Colleges and Universities. Minority Serving Institutions, and/or HBCU alumni networks. We will create resources and tools that address research, policy, and practice for the benefit of specific student groups for use by whole region. We will disseminate those using our communications plan, which includes community engagement through Advisory Councils.