American Institutes for Research Awards Rapid-Cycle Project Grants to Explore New Approaches for Integration and Equity in K-12 Schools

AIR Equity Initiative funds rapid-cycle projects for six organizations

Arlington, Va. – The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is awarding rapid-cycle project grants to six organizations and institutions who will use the funds to conduct research on school integration and equity. The grants, which range from $10,000 to $74,500, are awarded by the AIR Equity Initiative, the institution’s five-year investment in research, technical assistance and partnerships to address the underlying causes of systemic inequities and explore possible solutions.

Last year, the AIR Equity Initiative put out a call for essays to consider new approaches and strategies to foster school integration and educational equity in K-12 public schools. Those submitting essays were also invited to include a short-term, relatively low-cost research or policy proposal that could lay the groundwork for larger strategies down the road. All the essay submissions and grant proposals were reviewed by a panel of experts and six grants were chosen for funding. (The essays selected for publication will be shared later this year.)

“We feel a sense of urgency to address the resegregation of our schools and the inequitable distribution of educational resources,” said Terris Ross, managing director for the AIR Equity Initiative. “For this round of grants, we paid careful attention to project ideas that would lead to findings, resources, and ideas that could be generated quickly and shared with the field.”

The grants were awarded to the following organizations and institutions:

  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is receiving $33,000 to study disproportionality in gifted and talented identification rates at the state and national level and how they are informed by state, district, and school-level variables.
  • North Carolina State University is receiving $35,436 to analyze to what extent two-way dual language immersion programs can foster school integration.
  • Local to Global Justice is receiving $10,000 to gather community representatives in Arizona to explore ways that dual language, arts enrichment and family literacy strategies might enhance school integration experiences for students.
  • University of Minnesota is receiving $44,000 to use a multimodal, exploratory case study design to examine how Black, Latin, Asian, Pacific Island, Desi-American (APIDA) and Indigenous youth in Minneapolis Public Schools perceive, experience and conceptualize school integration efforts. The project is being co-funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and will involve sub-grants for youth-led research investigating policy and practical solutions for school integration.
  • Brown’s Promise is receiving $25,000 to host a series of learning labs where school integration and equity experts, researchers, thought leaders and advocates can build relationships and share knowledge.
  • The National Coalition on School Diversity is receiving $74,500 to conduct a series of research projects and engagement activities to promote evidence-based school integration policy development and implementation.

The rapid-cycle grants and essays are one part of the work that the AIR Equity Initiative is doing to improve educational experiences. Additional work includes funding to the Bridges Collaborative, a unique effort to explore desegregation and integration efforts in diverse contexts and address some of the gaps in the research. The AIR Equity Initiative is also driving and funding collaborative work on strengthening evidence-based workforce training and enhancing public safety, while seeking to integrate diverse perspectives and experiences in the social and behavioral sciences.

About AIR
Established in 1946, the American Institutes for Research® (AIR®) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and the workforce. AIR's work is driven by its mission to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. With headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR has offices across the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Dana Tofig

Managing Director, Corporate Communications