Biden-Harris Administration Awards $14 Million Under First-Ever Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Grant Program

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $14 Million Under First-Ever Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Grant Program

October 19, 2023

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) has made $14 million in awards to help support local- and state-driven voluntary efforts to foster more diverse school communities through its first-ever Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Program. These grants, in alignment with the Department’s Raise the Bar: Lead the World call to action, support districts as they work to enrich educational experiences by providing every student with a well-rounded education and improved school conditions for student learning, inclusive of a broader perspective on the world.

“Every student in America deserves access to a high-quality education, but persistent racial and socioeconomic isolation in our schools continues to result in inadequate resources, lesser access to advanced courses, fewer extracurricular offerings, and other tangible inequities that disproportionately impact students of color and students from low-income backgrounds at every stage of their educational journeys and throughout their lives,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “President Biden always says that diversity is America’s greatest strength, and that is incredibly clear in the classroom, where research shows that students of all backgrounds benefit from learning in diverse environments. Our Fostering Diverse Schools Grant program will support innovative, locally-driven efforts to Raise the Bar for academic achievement and learning conditions in our schools by providing more students with more diverse, more equitable, and ultimately, more enriching learning opportunities.”

This grant announcement comes as schools and classrooms have become increasingly more separated along lines of socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity. Yet, we know that diverse schools and classrooms can benefit every student, regardless of their race or background. The new Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration program will support voluntary efforts by local school districts to increase school socioeconomic diversity, including by providing new or expanded access to schoolwide specialized academic programs, unique program options, or analyzing the location and capacity of facilities to promote socioeconomic school diversity. This new program further delivers on President Biden’s day-one executive order, to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government.

Earlier this year, the Department released a report on State of School Diversity in the United States, showing that schools that are isolated along racial or socioeconomic lines often have less access to critical resources and funding. These conditions can perpetuate gaps in opportunity that can limit the chance for underserved students to grow and excel academically. The Department received applications from eligible entities in over 20 states and made 14 new awards for this inaugural cohort of Fostering Diverse Schools grantees. Recipients have committed to working closely with families, students, communities, and school diversity plans through a variety of activities. For example, grantees will engage with students, families, community leaders and staff to better understand the needs of their school communities and how to best address them. Other grantees will provide professional development to support educators who work in under resourced schools and communities. Across the board, grantees will implement well-rounded learning opportunities to expand access to high-quality instruction and enrichment.

The Department’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) also aims to foster greater diversity in schools. MSAP provided grants to eligible local education agencies to establish and operate innovative magnet schools, attract a diverse group of students, and help desegregate public schools. The Department awarded $92 million to 16 grantees through MSAP this year. Together with the Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Program, the Department invested more than $100 million in the past fiscal year in support of school diversity and equitable access to high-quality education that prepares students to succeed academically in diverse learning environments.

New Awards:

Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Program Planning Grants

Name 

State 

Amount 

Oakland Unified School District 

CA 

$499,687  

Board of Education City of Chicago 

IL 

$500,000  

Fayette County Public Schools 

KY 

$500,000  

Maryland State Department of Education in partnership with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Charles County Public Schools, Frederick County Public Schools, Howard County Public Schools, and Montgomery County Public Schools 

MD 

$500,000  

Cumberland County Schools 

NC 

$249,997  

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools 

NC 

$444,888  

Secaucus School District 

NJ 

$499,360  

Osage County Interlocal Cooperative 

OK 

$498,943  

Rhode Island Mayoral Academy Blackstone Valley 

RI 

$252,924  

Hamilton County Department of Education 

TN 

$251,593  

 

Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Program - Implementation Grants

Name 

State 

Amount 

Anchorage School District 

AK 

$2,262,205  

East Baton Rouge Parish 

LA 

$2,848,676  

NYC Department of Education 

NY 

$1,478,283  

NYC Department of Education 

NY 

$1,684,479  

 

Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grants 

Name 

State 

Amount  

San Diego Unified School District 

CA 

$2,999,777 

Napa Valley Unified School District 

CA 

$2,255,742 

Capitol Region Education Council 

CT 

$3,145,741 

Norwalk Public Schools 

CT 

$2,934,362 

Tangipahoa Parish School System 

LA 

$2,794,335 

St. Martin Parish Schools 

LA 

$2,969,569 

Ypsilanti Community Schools 

MI 

$2,594,350 

Wake County Public School System 

NC 

$3,436,067 

Albuquerque Public Schools 

NM 

$3,310,871 

Clark County School District 

NV 

$1,767,758 

NYC Department of Education - Community School District 4 

NY 

$2,999,999 

NYC Department of Education - Community School District 7 

NY 

$2,999,999 

School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties 

SC 

$2,338,673 

Metro Nashville Public Schools 

TN 

$2,621,556 

Victoria Independent School District 

TX 

$3,108,810 

Longview Independent School District 

TX 

$3,248,283