Racial Equity in Schools Fund Application

The Racial Equity in Schools Fund grants provides funding for teachers and schools working to eliminate racial inequities in their classrooms. Now through October 23, 2020, any PreK-12 public, private, or charter school teacher or principal can apply for grants for professional development, diverse books, or flexible funding to support students of color.

How do we define racial equity in schools? 

In the context of PreK-12 education, racial equity is equal access to a high-quality education. 

  • Racism results in barriers to students’ ability to engage naturally with learning in their classrooms. Our aim is to support educators’ efforts to remove those barriers, and to make schools a place where students of color can naturally engage with their learning 
  • Equity aims to fix the systemic conditions that cause the exclusion of students of color in education, and that cause students of color to receive a lower quality education than their white counterparts. A quality education is one that focuses on the whole child—the social, emotional, mental, physical, and cognitive development of each student regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geographic location. It prepares the child for life, not just for testing. Racial equity also aims to center students of color to promote their healing, empowerment, wellness, and success.
  • Anti-Racism is defined as: “the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.”

$250* Diverse Books or Professional Development Grants

For grants supporting less than 100 students, you have two options valued at $250:

  • A set of multicultural books with corresponding curriculum selected by Lee & Low Books appropriate for your grade level. Books that center the experiences of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), including messages of struggles as well as examples of joy, resistance, and empowerment.  Bundles will include titles based on popularity/demand/availability or titles subject to availability. (Learn More)
  • Online professional development for teachers to help eliminate racial bias in the classroom provided by Innocent Classroom. Teachers learn a relationship-building process that dismantles racism and racial bias by preparing educators to identify and positively engage each child’s essential motivation.  (Learn More)

$1,000* Flexible Funding Grants

For grants supporting more than 100 students, you may apply for a $250 grant above and/or a grant up to $1,000 in flexible funding to support racial equity in the classroom. These grants are intended to support department or school-wide projects. We are looking for your innovative ideas – you are not limited to professional development or books. 

*We will be funding more teachers and schools with the $250 grants. 

This grant application is now closed. If you are looking for more funding opportunities for your classroom, please learn about our Teacher Program here.

Requirements for 2020 Racial Equity in Schools Fund, A Spotlight Fund Grant Application

  • Eligibility
      • Any PreK-12 teacher, principal, or certified staff member employed at a public, private, or charter K-12 school (as verified by the National Center of Education Statistics) will be considered. If you do not see your school accurately listed in their database, please contact our staff at [email protected] to let us know.
      • Educators in all 50 states and all US Territories are encouraged to apply. 
        • We are prioritizing funding to grants in as many states as possible. 
      • Educators must agree to follow’s Terms of Use to apply and receive funds.
      • Educators are encouraged to have an active classroom or school page on by the application deadline to receive funds. Learn how to create a classroom page here and a school page here.
      • Depending on the number of applications, we may prioritize educators who have not previously received $500 or more of funding from a Spotlight Fund Grant or a corporate sponsor donation in the previous 12 months.
      • Educators who have had $50 or more of funds expire from their account, due to a failure to spend funds prior to the 12-month expiration date of donations, may be ineligible for Spotlight Fund Grants. 
  • Permission
      • Educators applying for funds give consent for their application content, name, photo, and school to be published in communications by and/or Burlington Stores to promote their mission and/or partnership.
  • Impact Reporting
    • Winners of a $250 grant for Innocent Classroom online training or diverse books will be required to complete a short survey by January 12, 2021. 
    • Winners of a $1,000 grant will be required to complete a short survey and provide a photo or video to show the impact this grant had in their classrooms and on their students by January 12, 2021. 
    • This content may be used by and/or in Burlington Stores communications.

Application and Evaluation Criteria

  • Each application will be evaluated by two staff members.
  • For the $250 Grant Winners
    • Professional Development Applications will be scored out of three points:
      • 1 Point: Does the educator seem open and able to improve their pedagogy, and educate themselves about issues of race in education?
      • 1 Point: Did the educator explicitly tie their application to supporting students of color?
      • 1 Point: Educator included a photo of themselves.
    • Diverse Book Applications will be scored out of three points:
      • 1 Point: Educator provides a student-focused answer to why books would be beneficial, explicitly citing a benefit to their students of color. 
      • 1 Point: Educator appears to have a strategy for the books beyond simply stocking a classroom library. 
      • 1 Point:  Educator included a photo of themselves.
  • For the $1,000 Grant Winners
    • Each application is scored out of a total of 10 points scored on the following:
      • 5 Points: The educator demonstrates that they are a leader, (or is striving to grow into a leader), in regards to taking on the existing structures of racism within education and beyond. 
      • 5 Points: Educator clearly demonstrates that they will utilize funds to deliver an impactful and innovative experience for students. 

If you are unsure if your school or classroom qualifies for this funding, please contact our team at [email protected].