Davis Votes in Support of Diversity and Desegregation Grants for Schools

Rodney Davis voted in support of H.R. 2639, the Strength Diversity Act, which helps fulfill the promise of equity in education by offering support to districts that are developing, implementing, or expanding school diversity initiatives.

“66 years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, many schools in our country are still facing problems of segregation,” said Rep. Davis.“Even schools like District 186 in Springfield are still operating under decades-old federal desegregation consent decrees. The Strength in Diversity Act works to change that by providing federal grant funding to support voluntary local efforts that encourage diversity and desegregate schools. I’m proud to support this legislation because it will provide new opportunities for minority schoolkids and improve educational outcomes and social cohesion.”

“The ‘Strength in Diversity Act’ legislation would help implement long-awaited diversity amongst black teachers, administrators and other staff in District 186 and other school districts to better reflect our communities. It would help provide our children with a well-rounded atmosphere for educational excellence and social and ethical standards to promote anti-racism as they grow. This legislation will help make our local schools the Best of The Best,” said President of the NAACP Illinois State Conference & Springfield Branch NAACP Teresa Haley.

The Strength in Diversity Act:

  • Establishes a grant program that provides federal funding to support voluntary local efforts to increase diversity in schools. Grants could fund a range of proposals, including (but not limited to):

  • Studying segregation, evaluating current policies, and developing evidence-based plans to address socioeconomic and racial isolation.

  • Establishing public school choice zones, revising school boundaries, or expanding equitable access to transportation for students.

  • Creating or expanding innovative school programs that can attract students from outside the local area.

  • Recruiting, hiring, and training new teachers to support specialized schools.

  • Supports the development and maintenance of best practices for grantees and experts in the field of school diversity.

  • Grant funding would be available to school districts, independently or in collaboration with neighboring districts, as well as regional educational authorities and educational service agencies.

The Strength in Diversity Act is supported by American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP-LDF), Magnet Schools of America, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP); National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD); National Education Association (NEA), The School Superintendents Association (AASA) and others.

H.R. 2639 passed the House of Representatives yesterday and goes to the Senate for consideration.