Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Education has awarded seven Equity Literacy grants to 13 Vermont school districts and supervisory unions across the state. The grants, totaling nearly $200,000, will support individual and collaborative projects in addressing equity gaps in their school communities. A total of 11 applications were submitted, involving numerous partnerships and collaborative work. Grantee awards will range in funding from approximately $4,000 to $44,000. Summaries of the grant proposals can be found on the agency’s website.
“We’re really pleased with the level of interest in this grant opportunity,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “We received applications requesting approximately $487,000. It was particularly exciting to see districts and supervisory unions working together to create joint proposals to benefit Vermont students.”
This grant is just one component of a multi-faceted effort by the AOE to support school districts addressing equity gaps in their school communities. This grant supports projects that provide professional learning opportunities to improve equity literacy of both educators and students. It also aligns with Governor Scott’s priority of protecting Vermont’s most vulnerable populations.
This grant was developed in response to the Supporting Educational Equity (SEE) project. “The SEE project’s goals were to ascertain what classroom level and systemic improvements are needed to fully leverage the equity-related changes in Vermont’s ESSA State Plan,” said Flexible Pathways Division Director Jess DeCarolis. “The project demonstrated that PK-12 educators have a need and desire for increased opportunities for professional learning in equity literacy. These projects are a great way for educators to convene community stakeholders, engage in courageous conversations and gain hands on tools to improve student understanding of equity in the classroom and beyond.”
Vermont students need to be prepared to live, work, and prosper in a global economy, and Vermont educators need to be equipped with the tools and knowledge that enable them to integrate Equity Literacy throughout their curriculum. The agency hopes to continue to support the equity efforts of Vermont’s SUs/SDs.
Equity Literacy Grant Awardees:
Champlain Valley School District, Colchester School District, South Burlington School District, and Winooski School District
Central Vermont Supervisory Union
Maple Run Unified School District
Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union – Missisquoi Valley UHSD
Orange Southwest School District
Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, and Montpelier Roxbury School District
Rutland City School District – Rutland Senior High School
Addressing equity gaps means ensuring both equitable inputs (resources, learning opportunities) and outputs (results, benefits) for all students.
Generally speaking, opportunity gap refers to inputs—the unequal or inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities—while achievement gap refers to outcomes—the unequal of inequitable distribution of educational results and benefits. Equity gap pertains to inputs and outputs as both contribute to the presence or absence of educational equity.
Source: BARRE, Vt. – 8.13.2019. Vermont Agency of Education