Young Students on School Campus Wearing Medical Face Mask During Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Race For Equity

The Education Trust’s Recommendations for Ensuring Equity in Education in the Midst of COVID-19

When responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first consideration must always be the safety and health of everyone in the country. As an education civil rights organization, Ed Trust recognizes that America’s most underserved students are at particular risk while many school buildings are still closed. Recently, we’ve learned that as many as 3 million children could have gone without any education since most of the country shut down in March – truly a lost generation of students who deserve better.

As a country, we must consider how we can ensure students, educators, school staff, and their families are prioritized as we consider the safest, most equitable ways to reopen schools. School closures due to the pandemic, although unquestionably necessary to protect public health, have had a disparate impact on students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and English learners. Underserved students have disproportionately experienced less access to devices and to internet service, teachers less support around online learning in under-resourced districts, parents less able to telework and support their learning during the day, and more socioemotional stressors. Despite the heroic efforts of many educators, many students and families have not received the academic or socioemotional support they need.

Here are five things we as a nation need to do to ensure an equitable education for all students, especially students of color:

First

Increase federal investment in education. State and local education budgets have been — and will continue to be — devastated by the loss of tax revenue. Without Congressional action, there will be no way to avoid layoffs and hiring freezes disproportionately impacting educators and staff at high-poverty schools, and many places won’t be able to meet the public health requirements to ensure a safe re-opening of school buildings.

Second

Ensure states and districts do not walk away from the students who have been hit hardest by this crisis. New federal stimulus funding should include a strong maintenance of effort provision and add a maintenance of equity provision to apply to both states and districts. Together, these requirements would maintain education spending at the same percentage of state spending as before the pandemic and shield the highest-need schools and districts from the worst cuts.

Third

Ensure distance learning is possible for every student. Before the pandemic, 79 percent of White households had broadband access, compared with only 66 percent of Black families and 61 percent of Hispanic families. The lack of equitable access to broadband is not only an immediate distance learning issue and an obstacle to effective implementation of hybrid models this fall, but also an emergency preparedness issue in the event of further widespread closures. To ensure home access to broadband for students is possible, Congress should allocate at least $4 billion to the FCC’s E-Rate program to provide hotspots and devices for students who require them.

Fourth

Help schools and teachers address the significant learning loss caused by the pandemic. Congress should allocate dedicated funds to help schools add more learning time, such as through summer school, an extended school day or school year, or afterschool programming.

Fifth

Address students’ nutritional, social, emotional, and mental health needs. Congress must extend and expand the Pandemic EBT program to enable more children to receive meals while not in school, and ensure students’ and educators’ socioemotional and mental health needs are met through funding additional counselors and other mental health professionals in schools.

We must also work to address systemic racism and bias for students who are living with the continued reality of racism in America and the legacy of over 400 years of anti-Blackness.  At Ed Trust, we have put out research and guides on school discipline and socioemotional learning that seeks to point out systemic injustice in schools and districts that too often impacts students of color living in a country that too often still struggles to recognize their humanity.

As students begin gradually returning to school buildings, they will have had vastly different school and life experiences with inequities further exacerbated by the health and economic crises. We have the public health data to help drive decision making on when students should begin to return to school buildings, and now, we need to target the appropriate resources and supports to help students, educators, and school staff recover and prevent any further widening of inequities.


Learn more about The Education Trust at www.edtrust.org. See a study conducted by Ed Trust on racial disparities in educational achievements in Maryland at education.www.bcf.org/ed-trust-report.

+ posts
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Who We Are – Sidebar
Recent Article
Sidebar Ad
Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

We have a nearly 30-year history of offering grants to resident-led groups and community projects in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. These grants give residents the resources they need to accomplish a small project, get more people involved, and encourage the next generation of neighborhood leaders. We also fund programs that support the development of leaders of all ages who are working to improve their neighborhoods and schools. Our support is intended to help identify, activate, inform and network leaders. And finally, we believe when schools and neighborhoods team up to improve their school and community, meaningful and lasting change can be made. We are interested in funding proposals in which the students and adults in schools collaborate intentionally with community residents, neighborhood associations, and other individuals, groups, and institutions in the area surrounding a school.

School Leadership

School Leadership

We believe that attracting and retaining effective and diverse school leaders is a key lever for change in Baltimore's educational landscape, and so we fund school leadership development efforts at the district and individual school level. We are interested in funding proposals that focus on principal coaching, mentoring, peer networking, wellness/self-care, as well as pipelines that identify and develop new leaders. We will also continue to support efforts that build a culture of appreciation and encouragement for school leaders.

How Can We Help?

Melissa McC. Warlow
Director, Baker Fund Grants Program
410-332-4172 x150

Apply for a Grant

Our on-line application system provides applicants with a portal to start a new grant application or to continue updating an application already in process. Please be sure to select the “Save and Finish Later” button when you are finished working on your application in order to save your current session’s work. At any time during the application process you can select the “Contact Us” button in the top right corner of the screen and you will be able to send an email to the Baltimore Community Foundation staff with specific questions. 

To be considered for funding, proposals must be submitted through the online application portal, however, we provide a PDF version of the application along with other useful forms here for your reference:   

When you are ready please select one of the following options:

OPTION 1

I have not applied for BCF funding online in the past.
Select this option if you have never used our website to apply for a grant from BCF.

OPTION 2

I previously applied for BCF funding online in the past.
Select this option if you have applied for any of BCF’s grants using our website. Your profile may still be in our system and you may login using your account.

Place-based Grantmaking in Selected School Communities

Place-based Grantmaking in Selected School Communities

We have allocated funds for two geographical areas that bookend a crucial corridor on the Westside of Baltimore City: Howard Park /Forest Park area (served by Calvin Rodwell Elementary Middle School and Liberty Elementary), and Reservoir Hill/Penn North area (served by Dorothy I Height Elementary). In these three schools and their surrounding neighborhoods, we will support projects and activities designed to make the communities safe, clean, green and vibrant; and improve the quality of the schools. Some projects may be neighborhood-focused, some school-focused and others collaborative projects between the schools and their respective communities.

Early Learning & Judy Centers

Early Learning & Judy Centers

High quality early childhood education has a lifelong effect on students. Through our Early Learning grant program, we are interested in system-wide early childhood education proposals that will help Baltimore City and County's youngest learners, and their families, get the start they need. Nonprofit organizations that offer programs and/or services to Judy Centers are encouraged to contact the centers directly to explore partnership opportunities.

How Can We Help?

John A. Gilpin

J.D., CAP®,AEP®

Director of Planned Gifts
410-332-4171 ext. 132

How Can We Help?

Kate Sam

Communications Officer
410-332-4171 ext. 181

How Can We Help?

Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation