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October 23, 2020
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JP O'Hare

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State Education Department Announces $19.4 Million to Support Integrated Schools and Classrooms

The New York State Education Department awarded $19.4 million in grants to nine school districts to pursue integrated schools and classrooms, Interim Commissioner Betty Rosa announced today. 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. Today’s announcement represents Phase III of this funding effort. 

“Increased socioeconomic and racial integration leads to higher academic outcomes for all students, closes the achievement gap for students of different racial and economic backgrounds and fosters critical thinking skills,” Board of Regents Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown said. “We are proud of the work our schools have done to create more equitable school communities but know that much work remains. Fostering equity for all of New York’s students remains a top priority for the Board of Regents and the Department.”

“We are committed to promoting increased integration within New York State’s schools and embracing the State’s racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic, linguistic, and ability diversity as important educational assets,” Interim Commissioner Rosa said. “These funds will help districts develop exciting and effective strategies that fit the needs of their unique students and communities.”

In an effort to support NYSED’s commitment to racial, socioeconomic, and other types of student integration in the state, NYSED launched the NYSIP-PLC Grant, which offers Federal School Improvement funds to assist local education agencies (LEA) in promoting staff understanding of the benefits of integration and to help staff create individualized district integration plans.

The purpose of the NYSIP-PLC program is to increase student achievement in New York State Title I Schools, particularly those schools identified for improvement, by encouraging greater integration by race and ethnicity, as well as socioeconomic, special education, and English Language Learner (ELL) status in Title I schools. Over three phases, the program is intended to provide districts with funding and programmatic support to:

  • Learn about the benefits of integration;
  • Develop a sustainable strategy that addresses segregation in the district and promotes integration (“integration strategy”);
  • Refine an integration strategy and implement a limited pilot plan; and
  • Fully implement an integration strategy on target schools.

Today’s announcement of grant awards represents Phase III of this competitive grant process. A full description of the Evaluation Rubric and scoring process is detailed in the NYSIP-PLC Phase III RFP.

Phase I of the program provided $1.4 million to 23 districts to design integration strategies tailored to the district’s communities. The program consisted of in-person Professional Learning Community (PLC) sessions. The PLC Curriculum was designed to give participants a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of racial, socioeconomic, and other forms of segregation. Participants in Phase I of the grant received funding allocations to cover their participation in all PLC sessions and related activities, including funding to complete assignments between sessions.

Phase II provided $2.5 million to 20 districts to pilot the specific integration strategies designed in Phase I. Participants were given funding allocations to hire consultants or use staff time to model, conduct focus groups, or otherwise test their integration plans; conduct community engagement; and take such other actions as may be necessary to successfully pilot the integration plan developed in Phase I. Districts received support and assistance from NYSED throughout Phase II. Districts received an extension through mid-February 2021 to finish implementing their Phase II activities due to COVID-19.

Phase III, under which this current funding is awarded, is designed to allow participants to fully implement the specific integration strategies that the district developed in Phase I and then piloted and refined in Phase II. This competitive process has resulted in nine grant awards for this three-year grant cycle which will go through the 2022-23 school year.

The list of grantees is below.

List of Grantees
School District Amount Awarded

NYC District 2


NYC District 3


NYC District 13


NYC District 15


NYC District 24


NYC District 30