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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2018
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

New York State Education Department Announces $1.4 Million in Grants Available to Support School Integration Efforts

Applications Accepted Through February 2, 2018

The State Education Department today announced $1.4 million in grants are available to support school district efforts to pursue integrated schools and classrooms. The New York State Integration Program – Professional Learning Community (“NYSIP-PLC”) Grants are intended to create school communities where all students have access to an equitable and high-quality education.

“The Board of Regents and I remain steadfast in our commitment to the goals of promoting school integration and fostering equity and culturally responsive practices in schools across the State," Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. "We know that all students benefit when they attend integrated, equitable schools. This support from the State is needed now more than ever."   

“Too many schools in New York are home to troubling inequalities," Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. "For students to reach their full potential, they must have fair and equitable access to educational resources. This program will help us get there.”   

This grant program will provide school and district leaders with training on effective strategies to support integration and culturally responsive practices. By providing training and working with educators at a local level, NYSED will support districts seeking to better provide equitable educational opportunities for all students. Grants of $50,000 to $70,000 per district will be awarded to up to 22 eligible districts.

After the NYSIP-PLC grant is completed, participating districts will have the opportunity to apply for additional funds to pilot and fully implement plans developed in the training program. Applications for the NYSIP-PLC grant are due by February 2, 2018.

The NYSIP-PLC grants will build upon previous efforts to address integration in New York’s schools and reverse the trend of unequal student outcomes throughout the State.  In December 2014, NYSED announced the Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program (SIPP) grant program that aimed to increase student achievement in Priority and Focus Schools by encouraging greater socioeconomic integration in these schools. The SIPP grants supported up to 18 months of planning activities and two years of program implementation. Twenty-five Title I Priority and Focus Schools in districts with poverty rates of 60 percent or higher were eligible to apply for three year grants of up to $1.25 million. NYSIP-PLC will build on these efforts by funding districts to create plans to address integration and incorporate culturally responsive practices in order to increase student outcomes in Priority and Focus schools.   

The SIPP program demonstrated that districts need greater support to be successful. Therefore, to maximize the impact and sustainability of the NYSIP-PLC grant program, NYSED will provide professional development to participating districts. Funding will allow districts to participate in a professional learning community and receive training about research-based strategies to reduce students’ isolation in schools based on socio-economic, racial/ethnic, English language learner and disability status.

NYSED will host a series of sessions to be delivered every other month in alternating locations between Albany and New York City. Sessions will begin with workshops to support the foundational understanding that integration is possible, beneficial to all students, and critical to achieving equity. The sessions that follow will help leaders identify causes of segregation within their districts and identify and test potential solutions for integration, ensuring the strategies are tailored to the unique conditions in each district. The following sessions will guide districts through the development of strategic plans and tools to implement their unique integration strategies. Districts that successfully complete the training program will be eligible to apply for planning grants and, upon successful completion of the planning process, for implementation grants.

“The New York State Education Department has been a national leader in promoting innovative school integration strategies,” said Philip Tegeler, Executive Director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and a steering committee member of the National Coalition on School Diversity. “The New York State Integration Program Professional Learning Community Grants will provide critical support to districts in addressing the challenge of pursuing meaningful integration strategies.”

Matt Gonzales, Director of the School Diversity Project at New York Appleseed, said, “We applaud the New York State Education Department for its leadership in encouraging and supporting school districts to pursue meaningful integration. We believe the work of creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive schools must be rooted in culturally responsive practices, and we are pleased that this is a priority for the New York State Integration Program.”

Mario Roque, a legal fellow at the Empire Justice Center of Rochester, said, “Segregation in Rochester public schools is a leading factor in poor educational outcomes, which have long-lasting economic effects on our young people and our community. Empire Justice Center is committed to developing solutions to promote integration and looks forward to exploring this strategy to ensure that all students in New York State have equal access to educational opportunity.”

The districts listed below are eligible to participate in the grant because they met the following criteria: (1) have been identified as Title I Focus Districts, (2) have at least one Priority or Focus School (3) have a district poverty rate (FRPL) of at least 50%, and (4) were ranked among the top 12 in the state on either “within district” and/or “between district” segregation metrics:

ALBANY CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
BUFFALO CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
CENTRAL ISLIP UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT
EAST RAMAPO CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT (SPRING VALLEY)
HEMPSTEAD UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT
MOUNT VERNON SCHOOL DISTRICT
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 1
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 2
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT # 3
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #13
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #15
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #22
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #24
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #27
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #28
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #30
NEW YORK CITY GEOGRAPHIC DISTRICT #31
PEEKSKILL CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
SYRACUSE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
WESTBURY UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT
WYANDANCH UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT
YONKERS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

The NYSIP-PLC grant application is available on the Department’s website.