Establishing District Equity Committees for Senate Bill 732 Supplemental Guidance
In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed
Senate Bill 732 amending Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 328.542 and 329.095 and requiring each school district to establish what the law calls an Educational Equity Advisory Committee, which this guidance will refer to as a District Equity Committee (DEC).
DECs are meant to help school leaders identify what helps or hinders the success of students who Oregon’s educational systems have historically excluded, impacted, marginalized, or underserved. They are intended to advise school boards and superintendents on the educational impacts of policy decisions, the larger district-wide climate, issues impacting underserved student groups, and additional topics necessary to fully elevate student experience. DECs are a powerful mechanism to engage community voice and advance equity in Oregon’s school districts.
District Equity Committees Supplemental Guidance
Supplemental Guidance brings together into one place the law’s requirements, the recommendations enshrined in law, the administrative rules, and the Oregon Department of Education’s guidance on implementation.
Supplemental Guidance Sections
Each section of the Supplemental Guidance, linked in its entirety above, is linked below for quick access.\
Section 1: Getting Started This section supports the start-up phase of planning for your DEC – how to create conditions for success, what to consider in your process, where to look within your district for pre-existing work, and variables you may need to consider as you think about the membership, structure, and purpose of your DEC.
Section 2: Purpose and Duties of a District Equity Committee This section describes the core purpose and duties of the DEC, including suggestions and recommendations for topics and issues that could be addressed. It also provides information on the option for DECs to select a single member to serve as an advisor to the school district board; to prepare an annual report; and the requirement that the school district board must select at least one member of the DEC to serve on the school district budget committee.
Section 3: Membership and Participation This section describes the process of nominating and selecting DEC members, including statutory requirements for DEC membership composition. It also provides best practices to consider implementing that will support greater health, equity, diversity, and inclusion on the DEC.
Section 4: Structure and Organization This section goes through key operational questions such as: how decisions get made on the DEC; what meeting protocols & processes could guide the DEC; and an example first meeting of the DEC. These are considerations intended to support a situated DEC design for each school district.
Section 5: Empowering and Resourcing Your District Equity Committee This section discusses important opportunities and ways to empower the DEC so they have what they need to support the school district. It also looks at how public meeting law applies to the DEC.
Adapting Existing Equity Efforts
Many districts have robust strategies and structures in place to support the ongoing needs of their focal student groups and school community in equitable and culturally sustaining ways.
This tool can help establish a starting point for evaluating the equity work already in progress or underway, and with consideration for next steps.
District Equity Committee Template
A communication resource on how to frame the DEC and extend the opportunity for involvement with specific ways to support these efforts.
To connect more on SB 732: District Equity Committees (EEACs), please reach out to the Office of Education Innovation & Improvement at: