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Metro State lands $8.5 million grant to expand work on equity issues

A Denver-based organization is getting a big boost from the federal government to help more schools improve educational opportunities for underserved students.

The Equity Assistance Center at the Metropolitan State University of Denver last week was awarded a five-year $8.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help 16 states, commonwealths and territories with equity issues. Previously the center served six states, including Colorado.

The center provides teacher training, policy reviews and other services for schools on a variety of issues including hate crimes, racial prejudice and bullying.

“We have a daunting task, but we’re up for it,” said Percy Morehouse, executive director of the Office of Equal Opportunity at MSU Denver.

In Colorado, the center has helped the Adams 14 School District with improving its schools culture after a federal investigation found the district had created a hostile environment for Hispanic students and teachers.

It also recently reviewed the Falcon 49 school district’s policies to ensure compliance with federal laws around gender and sexual orientation.

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