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Department of Education Releases Report on COVID-19’s Impact on Education

June 10, 2021
Source: U.S. Department of Education

[On June 9th the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR)] released a new report, Education in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Students, issued as part of a broader announcement by the Department on actions to advance equity.

The report responds to President Biden’s Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers. It explores how the impacts of COVID-19 are falling disproportionately on students who went into the pandemic with the fewest educational opportunities, many of whom are from marginalized and underserved communities.

Observations from the report cover the pandemic’s impacts on both K-12 and postsecondary education students, including how COVID-19 has deepened disparities in access and opportunities facing students of color, English learners, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students, and others.

As you will see, the report goes beyond the typical scope of an OCR resource, covering a broad range of issues related to educational equity. But it also relates directly to the work that OCR does each day—that is, to help ensure that all students have nondiscriminatory access to educational opportunities.

The Department’s other equity announcements include the release of Maintenance of Equity guidance on an important provision of the American Rescue Plan and the announcement of an Educational Equity Summit Series that will launch virtually this month, with the first event on June 22.

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