A Scan of State Policies to Support Equitable Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

In 2020, The Education Trust released a seminal report called Social, Emotional, and Academic Development Through an Equity Lens. This report highlights the need to broaden the focus on supporting social and emotional learning to creating systemic changes that equitably integrate efforts to support social, emotional, and academic development. The report identifies six key policy areas critical to integrating efforts to holistically support both social and emotional needs and academic learning for students:


Rigorous & Culturally Sustaining Curriculum

Educator Diversity

Professional Development

Student, Family, & Community Engagement

Wraparound Services

Building on this, Ed Trust and CASEL partnered to create 50-state scans for five of these policy areas, the results of which are publicly available in this digital tool. (For information about the sixth policy area, educator diversity, see The Education Trust’s recently published 50-state educator diversity data and policy tool.

State leaders can support districts and schools in integrating efforts to holistically support both social and emotional needs and academic learning by prioritizing these policies in state goals, providing evidence-based and equity-focused guidance and sufficient funding, and ensuring data is publicly available. These state-level actions, when coupled with strong implementation at the local levels, can meaningfully impact the experiences of students. The ratings in this tool, however, only indicate whether states have adopted evidence-based policies, and do not indicate whether implementation at local levels has occurred with fidelity.

Use the tool below to identify your state’s strengths as well as areas for improvement in creating safe, supportive, and inclusive environments that foster positive social, emotional, and academic development for all students, and see which states have implemented promising policies or practices in each policy area.

If you have questions about these scans, please contact Nancy Duchesneau

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