The Pennsylvania Department of Education defines equity as “every
student having access to the educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment in their education across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, family background and/or family income.”
Equity and inclusion are key tenets of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated State Plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
- Pennsylvania’s schools should be safe havens where all students – regardless of their race, color, religion, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, or ability – feel safe, respected, and welcomed.
- A positive school climate is essential for academic achievement and success.
With these principles as a guide, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has worked to develop courses and tools that focus on themes of equity and cultural competency.