Date of Award

Summer 5-12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Jennifer D. Timmer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David B. Reid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Katie N. Smith, Ph.D.


LGBTQIA+, Policy, Education, Equity, Inclusion


This qualitative study explored the ways in which education policy and practices within public schools are addressing the needs of minoritized populations with a particular focus on LGBTQIA+ students. This study first employed a document analysis to investigate the federal, state, and district-level equity practices that are mandated or elective in addressing the needs of marginalized populations and LGBTQIA+ students. Secondly, a critical discourse analysis was conducted to examine the specific language, word choices, and symbols found within the public documents that signify equitable practices pertaining to minoritized student populations and the LGBTQIA+ community. Ultimately, the goal of this study is to provide educational leaders with practical equity practices to ensure that students, staff, and school community members are committed to providing an evolving population of diverse students, served by public schools, an equitable education. The document review revealed that the systems to monitor equity practices as implemented by state-level departments of education currently demonstrate a wide variation of equity standards for students in public schools within each state and the majority of states are not including the LGBTQIA+ population explicitly within their equity practices or public resources. This study’s findings provided insight into the involvement of the state government by permitting or prohibiting local school leaders with the implementation, monitoring, and sustaining of equity practices to address the needs of minoritized students. The evidence collected through the document analysis and further through the critical discourse analysis identified multiple areas within the local levels of education that did not explicitly include LGBTQIA+ students in the majority, or at all.