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April’s Brown vs. Board Challenge: Supporting Marginalized Students During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, schools in all fifty states and the District of Columbia have closed, disrupting instruction for at least 55 million students nationwide. During these prolonged school closures, we must do everything possible to ensure learning continues for every child, including those with disabilities, students of color, students from low-income families, English learners, and students experiencing homelessness, foster care, or those engaged in the juvenile justice system. As districts and schools implement plans for distance learning—and states apply for federal emergency funding appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—we must ensure that instructional plans focus on educational equity, protect students’ civil rights, and do not exacerbate opportunity and achievement gaps for historically underserved students. 

Our country currently faces unprecedented challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and it is more important than ever that we work to aid all students, particularly those most in need. In April, the Alliance for Excellent Education’s (All4Ed’s) #OurChallengeOurHope campaign, which honors the legacy and impact of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, highlights how schools and districts can support marginalized students and keep educational equity at the forefront during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history.  


RESOURCES

Supporting Schools During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Read the latest updates from All4Ed about how federal policymakers are responding to the pandemic and take action to support home internet access for students. 

The New Reality of School at Home: Overwhelmed. Isolated. Unfocused. Very Stressed
This recently published article in the Los Angeles Times explains how the second largest school district in the nation—Los Angeles Unified School District—is implementing a variety of approaches to meet the needs of underserved students including a grab-and-go lunch program, distributing laptops, providing free internet access, and hand delivering learning packets to those who can’t access the internet.  

COVID-19 and Homelessness: Strategies for Schools, Early Learning Programs, and Higher Education Institutes
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disrupts education, services, and life across the country, children and youth experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable. SchoolHouse Connections offers resources to meet the needs of homeless students as we respond to this global crisis.

COVID-19 Resources for Traditionally Underserved Youth in the U.S.
American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) has compiled a collection of resources from various organizations that are supporting underserved youth during the pandemic.

10 Things to Know about Homeless Students Amid the COVID-19 Crisis
“The integral role that schools play in the lives of students experiencing homelessness and the many challenges they face have never been clearer as the threat of coronavirus continues to grow and schools across the country close,” explains the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH). ICPH has compiled a list of ten things we should keep in mind about homeless students amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.