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Educational Equity and Coronavirus 

Promoting instructional equity and student well-being

Responding to the coronavirus through an educational equity lens starts by recognizing that vulnerable students are at particular risk when schools are closed for any length of time. On this page you will find resources for policymakers and education leaders designed to focus on the needs of historically underserved groups of students during this crisis.

Reopening Stronger:
Educational Equity Priorities for Fall 2020


When schools reopen this fall, New York and the nation only have two choices: to perpetuate the educational inequities that are entrenched in our education system, or to take action to address them. An equity-driven plan to reopen schools starts with recognizing both the strengths and gaps in how school districts addressed instructional continuity while school buildings were closed in the spring. It must also be driven by the needs of parents and families.

Listening to Parents

The results of our statewide survey of public school parents found that they are very concerned about their child falling behind academically as a result of not being in school. While parents support their schools and school districts, there are large gaps between what parents want and what is currently available in the early weeks of school closures.

Supporting Vulnerable Students During School Closures

In partnership with leading organizations, here are specific steps that state policymakers and school districts can take to ensure that students who are low-income, Multilingual Learners/English Language Learners, students with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness receive the support and services they need.

These resources are made possible in partnership with the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, EPIC-Every Person Influences Children, Hispanic Federation, Ibero-American Action League, INCLUDEnyc, National Center for Learning Disabilities, New York Immigration Coalition, and SchoolHouse Connection.

Addressing New Policy Challenges

We know that if school closures continue for much longer, our education system will face a series of policy choices that will also have significant equity implications for historically underserved groups of students. We identify several policy decisions that will require attention if schools remain closed for most or all of the remainder of the school year and offer a framework to guide state and district leaders in advancing equity in coronavirus response.

The Excelsior Promise

With school closures interrupting the senior year of roughly 190,000 high school seniors across New York State, Ed Trust–NY is calling on state leaders to make a government-wide commitment to supporting the Class of 2020 as they transition to college and the workforce in the midst of the pandemic. Learn how New York can support this next generation.

Unprecedented Challenges

School closures are taking their toll on students, teachers, and families across New York. Read how they’re navigating these unprecedented challenges and staying focused on ensuring educational equity for all students.

New York’s Youngest Children

Parents of infants and toddlers across New York State are experiencing intense financial insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic, with one in three indicating in a new statewide poll that they are skipping or reducing meals and one in ten saying they are reducing meals for their children.

Higher Education During the Pandemic

College students across New York State are experiencing intense academic, emotional, and financial instability during the coronavirus pandemic, with four in five indicating in a recent poll that they are concerned about staying on track to graduate.