Training and Advisory Services – Equity Assistance Centers

Program and Grantee Support Services


Discretionary/Competitive Grants

Equity Assistance Centers program (also known as Training and Advisory Services)

Program Description

Equity Assistance Centers (EACs) are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide technical assistance and training, upon request, in the areas of race, sex, national origin, and religion to public school districts and other responsible governmental agencies to promote equitable education opportunities. The centers work in the areas of civil rights, equity, and school reform. This assistance helps schools and communities ensure that equitable education opportunities are available and accessible for all children.

Types of Services

EACs provide technical assistance and training at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools. EACs work with clients to understand their needs and design projects to provide appropriate services to address education issues occasioned by school desegregation. This may include helping clients analyze and interpret data to identify disparities. The Centers work with schools in the areas of harassment, bullying, and prejudice reduction. Centers also develop materials, strategies, and professional development activities to assist schools and communities in preventing and countering harassment based on, for example, ethnicity, gender, or religious background.

Program History

The EAC program is authorized under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Originally referred to as the Desegregation Assistance Centers program, the EAC program is one of the Department’s longest-standing investments in technical assistance and plays a vital role in ensuring that all students have equitable access to learning opportunities, regardless of their child’s race, sex, national origin, or religion.

Additional Information

The purpose of this program is to award grants (cooperative agreements) to operate regional equity assistance centers to provide technical assistance and training, at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies, on issues related to equity in education to ensure that all children, regardless of race, gender, national origin, or religion, have equal access to a quality education and the opportunity to develop high academic proficiency in reading, math and other core subject areas.

The Equity Assistance Centers (EACs) are a resource for the Office for Civil Rights in working with school districts that have achieved unitary status. The EACs offer technical assistance to school districts, State education agencies, and others who seek to resolve civil rights conflicts and promote social justice and equity. More recently, they provide resources and training in the areas of hate crimes, racial prejudice, and bullying.

Typical activities include disseminating information on successful education practices and legal requirements related to nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion in educational programs; training designed to develop educators’ skills in specific areas such as identification of race and sex bias in instructional materials; technical assistance in the identification and selection of appropriate educational programs to meet the needs of limited English proficient students; and instructing school officials on how to prevent sexual harassment and combat biases.

  • Danielle Smith, Director
    Program and Grantee Support Services
    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
    Washington, DC 20202