Centering Equity During Pandemic Recovery

Putting Our Money Where Our Values Are

As America grapples with an ongoing pandemic, an economic recession, and renewed national recognition of systemic racism, our nation’s students, families, and educators are at the center. Fueled by structural inequality and systemic racism, for too long our country has failed to provide students with higher needs and students of color with school experiences that help them achieve their biggest dreams. The COVID-19 pandemic has made these inequities more visible and far worse. Schools, districts, communities, and education advocates must work together to navigate these new challenges, while also simultaneously confronting longstanding injustices, by directing the right combination of resources to the students who need them most.

Let’s Talk About Equity

COVID-19 is affecting everyone — but it is not affecting everyone equally. Students of color and their families find themselves enduring a pandemic that disproportionately impacts their health, mired in an economic crisis that disproportionately affects their financial well-being, and living in a country that too often still struggles to recognize their humanity. And for many students with higher needs — including students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, English learners, and students experiencing homelessness, foster care, or the juvenile justice system — COVID-19 has compounded existing educational challenges.

Based on nationwide polling data, these tools and resources can help education leaders and advocates in your community build common understandings of the issues and how to talk about them.

From Crisis To Change

This pre-populated PowerPoint uses data to paint a picture of how students of color and students with higher needs are experiencing the COVID pandemic and the types of challenges they’re facing. Leaders and advocates can customize the slides to show what local communities can do about it.

Communications Toolkit

This toolkit provides tips, including examples, of effective ways to talk as a community about the compounding effects of the pandemic for students of color and students with higher needs and to advance education resource equity.

For Social Media

Sample content and creative ways to share messages and connect with others. Join the conversation using #educationcombination.

Additional Guidance

Together, we have the responsibility to center decisions around equity by directing resources where they are needed most, to help all students, and particularly those who are the most underserved, reach high standards and thrive this school year and beyond. And, the once in a generation investment of federal funds in response to the pandemic presents a pivotal opportunity to address long-standing educational inequities, if the money is invested in the right ways.

For updates on what COVID recovery and the American Rescue Plan mean for equity in education, see additional tools, resources, and content from Education Resource Strategies and The Education Trust.