Alliance for Resource Equity published 2020-2021 Equity Guides

Resources can help district and school leadership teams, community leaders and advocates prepare equity-centered plans to support vulnerable students

By Jennifer Mrozowski

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed into sharp focus many of the longstanding inequities that have stalled the success of our nation’s vulnerable students, including children of color, students with disabilities, English learners and those living in poverty.

Recently, the Education Trust-Midwest called on Michigan’s leaders to prioritize those children and youth through six key recommendations in our 2020 State of Michigan Education Report, A Marshall Plan: Reimagining Michigan Public Education report, including through equitable investments in education, expanded access to post-secondary options, and the need for districts to publish equity-centered plans as they prepare for a return to school and beyond.

Thanks to a partnership between two national non-profits — Education Trust and Education Resource Strategies — advocates and community members now have a robust set of tools for engaging with school district leaders to ensure their plans support students with higher needs, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and economic turmoil.

The two organizations teamed up to form the Alliance for Resource Equity. Together, they developed a set of 2020-2021 Equity Guides that are geared at “directing resources where they are needed most, to help all students, and particularly those who are most underserved, reach high standards and thrive this school year,” according to their website.

The guides include immediate actions to take, questions to ask, recommendations and resources to inform the conversation with decision-makers. To learn more or to access the guides, go to

MDE seeks flexibility to expand food security

The MDE last week announced it is seeking waivers to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19 through additional flexibility when serving meals and snacks outside of regular cafeteria settings, as well as minimize the complexity of the meal pattern requirements.

ETM Director of Communications Jennifer Mrozowski issued this statement:

“The Education Trust-Midwest recognizes the tremendous educational and academic impact of the coronavirus crisis on Michigan families and students, including the troubling food insecurity for children and youth of all ages.

We applaud the Michigan Department of Education for continuing its work to prioritize the safety of Michigan’s students, while acknowledging the need to ensure students can access school nutrition programs, as we plan for a safe return to school.

These efforts will build upon those by Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Education for working to expand food assistance through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program to the families of students who typically receive free- and reduce-priced lunch and breakfast at school.”

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@EdTrust: New Alliance for Resource Equity launches to unlock opportunities for every student. Check out the 10 dimensions of education resource equity & accompanying diagnostic tool at #EducationCombination @ERStrategies