DEI Efforts in Long Island Public Schools

Prepared By

LI Strong Schools


August 2023


Long Island, NY


  • Half of Long Island school districts have made little or no progress in implementing the state’s policy on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • New York State does not have a system or mechanism in place to measure compliance or to hold districts accountable if they do not follow the policy.
  • Of the 125 school districts on Long Island, 18% have made no progress on the DEI mandate.
  • Districts with more racially diverse student populations are much more likely to have active DEI programs than those with student bodies that are predominantly white. Read the full press release here.


DEI initiatives can have positive impacts for all students, regardless of whether they belong to a marginalized group or not. Diversity among students in education directly impacts their performance.Studies show that students work better in a diverse environment, enabling them to concentrate and push themselves further when there are people of other backgrounds working alongside them…read the full report here.

Potential Issues

The lack of diverse representation in curriculum, teachers, and school leaders puts children at a disadvantage and increases the likelihood of bias and discrimination against people from historically underrepresented backgrounds… DEI initiatives can have positive impacts for all students, regardless of whether they belong to a marginalized group or not…read the full report here.

Our Report Findings

Individual Components

As described above, we have examined how and whether Long Island school districts have incorporated each of the key components of DEI work (Table 1, ordered by decreasing prevalence). We find that for most components, at least a plurality of Long Island school districts have made some progress in recent years. In particular, a majority of districts report progress on improving DEI in hiring, school culture, curriculum, and professional development. Read our detailed findings here.

School District Ratings

DEI report findings

Overall DEI Efforts

In addition to examining individual components, we have also looked at the overall quality of DEI efforts in each school district, and have rated each according to the completeness of their DEI work.

More than 1 in 6 school districts (18+%) have been designated as Poor (Red), with no work to show on DEI efforts, and roughly half have Fair (Yellow) or Poor (Red) ratings overall. A small but significant number (7%) are doing truly Exemplary work (Blue), with DEI efforts that include each component we examined.

Read Detail Findings