The mission of the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is to lead and support the preparation of all Nebraskans for learning, earning, and living.
This commitment is reflected in the goals outlined in the State Board’s Strategic Vision and Direction:
- Ensure the education system, including the Nebraska Department of Education, is taking charge of its roles and responsibilities to provide leadership and enhance support systems in the state.
- Ensure all Nebraskans, across all backgrounds and circumstances, have equitable access and opportunities for success.
- Increase the number of Nebraskans who are ready for success in post-secondary education, career, and civic life.
Additionally, the NDE acknowledges a societal history of bias, bigotry, and racism resulting in societal disparities and inequities, and the effects of these disparities and inequities on Nebraskans today. The NDE commits to confronting this history and its negative impact by leading for educational equity. The goal of equity efforts is that all students are known, heard, and supported while having access to the opportunities and resources needed to be ready for success in their post-secondary learning experiences, careers, and civic lives.
The State Board believes that all children enrolled in public schools are entitled to equitable educational opportunity across all races, colors, sexes, and national origins. The same principle has been adopted by the Congress of the United States at 20 U.S.C. 1701. In addition, the Nebraska Legislature has declared, at Section 79-2,116 R.R.S., that it shall be an unfair or discriminatory practice for any educational institution (as defined in Section 79-2,115 R.R.S.) to discriminate on the basis of sex in any program or activity.
Educational equity is defined by providing each student meaningful access to the educational resources they need at the right moment, at the right level, and with the right intensity. Educational equity means high expectations for learning and student achievement. Educational equity allows students to discover and explore their passions and make meaningful connections within the context of their post-secondary interests. Equity requires that these opportunities and outcomes exist for all Nebraskans, including but not limited to, and unrestricted by age, citizenship status, color, disability, economic status, ethnicity, family mobility, family structure, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, tribal membership, or veteran status, . Further, the State Board supports policy that promotes a stable, reliable, and equitable system of funding that addresses both the equity of available funding for schools, as well as the equity of burden on taxpayers.
The State Board further believes that all resident children with disabilities are entitled to special education programs and transportation. The Nebraska Legislature, at Section 79-1127 R.R.S., requires the board of education of every school district to provide or contract for such programs.