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Brooklyn’s District 13 Receives School Diversity Grant

Brooklyn’s District 13 Receives School Diversity Grant

The NYC Department of Education will also be adopting many of the School Diversity Advisory Group’s recommendations for the city.

This year, the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) released 67 recommendations to improve goals, diversity, resources, restorative justice and practices, and representation in New York City Schools. SDAG members–students, educators, parents, advocates, and researchers–were appointed in 2017 to advise Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on polices to advance diversity and integration in schools. The Department of Education (DOE) is adopting 62 of the 67 recommendations, including providing a diversity grant to Brooklyn’s District 13, to help the district plan increase its diversity through community programming, according to an article from Brooklyn Bridge Parent.

It is not clear how the DOE will fund its implementation of recommendations, but a few steps it has agreed to take are

  • Adding metrics to the School Quality Report related to diversity and integration
  • Creating new diversity targets for Diversity in Admissions pilots based on the specific circumstances of each school community
  • Launching a Task Force to examine PA and PTA capacity – including with resources/fundraising and structure/organizing– to make recommendations to increase capacity for PTAs overall
  • Investing in program offerings to ensure high poverty schools have the same curricular, extra-curricular and after school opportunities as schools in more affluent communities
  • Studying the impact of current initiatives to recruit diverse staff (i.e., NYC Men Teach) and make targeted investments to expand diversity in staff across the City

District 13, which includes Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, and Prospect Heights, is one of the first districts to receive a diversity grant–$200,000 out of the $2 million total funding. The grant will be used to initiate programs similar to those implemented in District 15, which runs from Carroll Gardens to Sunset Park. With the grant, District 13 will be able to plan how to diversify its community through engaging community planning firms with expertise in diversity work, selecting and developing working groups, hosting community meetings, and developing a final proposal for how the community will grow. Other districts receiving diversity grants are District 9, District 16, District 28, and District 31, on Staten Island. 17 districts applied for a grant, according to the mayor’s office. The selected schools showed a demonstrable commitment to implementing community-driven processes that increase diversity.

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