Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed July 12, 1996
Contact: Tracie Sweeney

U.S. renews contract with New England Desegregation Assistance Center

The U.S. Department of Education has renewed its contract with the New England Desegregation Assistance Center at Brown University. The center is expected to receive about $1.8 million over three years for its innovative programs, which provide technical assistance and training to New England public school districts dealing with issues of desegregation and equity.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The U.S. Department of Education has renewed its contract with the New England Desegregation Assistance Center for Equity in Education at Brown University (DAC). The contract renewal was announced this week in Washington by Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I.

The DAC, which aids public school systems in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, is expected to receive approximately $1.8 million in grant money over the course of the three-year contract ending June 30, 1999. The funds support the DAC's innovative programs, which offer technical assistance and training to public school districts, at the request of the school boards, in desegregation and equity issues regarding race, gender and national origin. It is one of 10 such centers around the country.

"As a consequence of changing demographics, New England has experienced changes in its school populations, requiring specialized training around issues of diversity, racial discrimination and multiculturalism," said John Correiro, DAC director. Through training and policy development, the DAC has helped school districts be more proactive on such issues rather than reactive, he said.

As a program of the Education Alliance at Brown University, DAC draws upon the collective expertise of the Regional Educational Lab, the Superintendents' Leadership Council and the Principals Congresses, as well as Brown's Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, its Center for Language Study, the Sarah Doyle/Pembroke Women's Center and the Regional Equity Network.

The DAC offers specific desegregation assistance, which Correiro expects to be useful in the wake of the Connecticut Supreme Court's order to the state Department of Education earlier this month to integrate its public schools. "With most courts steering away from such decisions, this is very important," Correiro said. "The New England DAC will be offering significant technical assistance in this area."

The renewed contract with the center is equally significant because the federal government has eliminated Title IV funds that previously supported school districts' own equity and desegregation programs, Correiro said. Continued funding of the New England DAC ensures continuation of those programs, he said.