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DOE to Consider 'Equity' as Part of Decisions on Project Grants

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The Department of Education revealed in a recent report that it will consider grant applications, in part, based on how "equity" is incorporated into grant proposals.


The "2022 Agency Equity Plan related to Executive Order 13985," published Thursday, is part of one of President Joe Biden's first executive orders, the "Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government." 

The "executive summary" of Thursday's 19-page report reads, "As we enter a new era of possibility for our nation, education must be at the forefront of our recovery, rebuilding and resiliency efforts. To meet this potential, our nation’s education system must reckon with and address the long-standing disparities that students from underserved communities face in achieving equal education opportunity."

The report said the DOE has an "opportunity and a responsibility" to support efforts to deliver on "America's promise of education." 

"[DOE's] stated mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access," the report read. "To fulfill this mission, the agency must embed equity throughout its operations and mission to meet the needs of every learner. Under the Secretary’s leadership, the Department has established strategic priorities based on feedback obtained directly from those whom we serve: children and students of all ages, educators in all roles, parents and families, and their communities."


The report also explained that the plan is "Consistent with the priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration" and that the DOE "has and is focused on strengthening the agency’s processes, policies, strategies, and culture to ensure equity is the foundation upon which all decisions and protocols rest, and to strengthen the agency’s work and build on its impact."

The department will revise its evaluation process for awarding federal funding for grants to allow "nonfederal peer reviewers" to judge applications for "equitable" proposals.

The DOE is one of more than 90 federal agencies to have published equity plans for 2022 on Thursday.

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