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Our Equity Focus

Public schools aren't created equal. You can help.

To this day, many Black, Latinx, and Native American students and students from low-income households enter classrooms without enough books, technology, and supplies. Our Equity Focus empowers our community to make a difference.

Equity Focus Schools: Addressing inequities that students face

DonorsChoose serves teachers and students at all U.S. public schools. To help donors and partners combat systemic racial and socioeconomic inequity, we've developed two criteria to identify Equity Focus Schools: at least 50% of students are Black, Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, or multiracial and at least 50% of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, the standard measure for school economic need.

Equity Focus School venn diagram
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More than half of the teachers who use DonorsChoose today work in Equity Focus Schools. Teachers, curious if you're in an Equity Focus School? Visit our help center.

Student

Today, a student's race still impacts their access to an equitable education

District funding

School districts that serve mostly students of color get $23 billion less in state and local funding annually.

That's $2,266 less per student compared to school districts with mostly White students.

Teachers who work with mostly students of color spend a lot more of their own money on classroom materials, indicating access to fewer resources from their schools.

Compared to schools with mostly White students, teacher out-of-pocket spending is 31% higher.

Teacher spending
Student with laptop

Whether by law or by practice, segregation continues to exist across America's schools today.

Most Black, Latinx, and Native American students attend public schools where 75%+ of students identify as people of color. Less than half of White and Asian students attend schools with the same degree of segregation.

Hand holding heart for support

Join us in supporting Equity Focus Schools to help address racial and socioeconomic inequity for America's students.

Support requests from Equity Focus Schools
Teachers

Ensuring Equity for DonorsChoose Teachers

We want every teacher to get the resources they need on DonorsChoose. As part of our Equity Focus, we make sure that teachers of color receive at least as much funding as White teachers, and that teachers working in low-income communities receive at least as much funding as their peers in higher-income communities.

Representation matters in the classroom

Only 20% of public school teachers are people of color.

Yet half of students are people of color, and research indicates that all students benefit from having teachers of color.

Teacher and student demographics
Graduation rates

Students of color thrive when they have teachers of color.

In one study, the graduation rate among Black students increased by 33% if they had at least one Black teacher between third and fifth grade.

DonorsChoose helps keep teachers in the classroom.

A study from the University of Michigan found that a teacher having just one funded DonorsChoose project improved teacher retention by 1-3%.

Turnover rate
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More than 265,000 teachers have shared their demographic information with us to help further our mission to ensure equity for all teachers on DonorsChoose. Learn more.

Learn more about our racial equity work

Interested in starting an Equity Focus partnership? Contact us.

Thank you to the education leaders, experts, advocates, and DonorsChoose staff who have helped shape and propel our Equity Focus.

  • BMe
  • John B. King Jr. and The Education Trust
  • National Book Foundation
  • Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution
  • Albert Shanker Institute
  • Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (ALAS)
  • Center for American Progress
  • National Urban League
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Teach Plus
  • Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • UNCF
  • Learning Policy Institute
  • Genein Letford, Elementary Music Teacher
  • The Center for Black Educator Development
  • The Profound Gentlemen

Support projects from an Equity Focus School