John B. King, Jr., US Secretary of Education, has announced new grant competitions with the purpose of increasing diversity in education. According to King, diversity is important “…not just in schools, but also in classrooms within those schools. It’s not just enough for kids from diverse backgrounds to pass each other in the hallways or on the playground. True diversity requires students to actually learn alongside one another. That’s not something that will happen by itself. That requires decisions by policymakers at every level…”

Here is the list of the grants presented by Secretary King for the upcoming year:

  1. 2017 Magnet School Assistance Program – This program will provide grants for eligible educational agencies to establish and operate magnet schools that are operated under a court-ordered or federally approved voluntary desegregation plan. These grants assist in the desegregation of public schools by supporting the elimination, reduction, and prevention of minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools with substantial numbers of minority group students. For more information about the program please visit
  2. Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities – This program will support districts in increasing socioeconomic diversity in schools, improving student academic achievement, and improving schools by increasing student diversity.
  3. School Improvement Grant – School Improvement Grants (SIGs) are grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) that SEAs use to make competitive subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds.  These agencies also display the strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to substantially raise the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools. For more information, please visit

The Department of Education will also be investing $12 million in more than 20 districts to “fund the development of blueprints for increasing socioeconomic diversity in schools and complete pre-implementation activities focused on student diversity.”

-Ray Hayes

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