WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Senate joined the House of Representatives in using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal a U.S. Department of Education rule finalized last year that would clarify states’ obligations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
“Today, 50 Republican senators cast an ill-advised vote to repeal a critical rule and make ESSA more difficult to implement. Yet even without the rule, the protections in the law remain in effect and must govern the approval of state plans. It is now incumbent on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to reassure students, parents, advocates, and Congress that ESSA will be executed consistent with the law and that robust federal oversight will provide meaningful protections for students.
In a few weeks, states will begin to submit their ESSA plans to the Department for review. We fully expect the Department to take that role seriously and to approve only those plans consistent with the requirements of the law and the purpose of Title I: ‘to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.’”
The Leadership Conference and 45 additional organizations sent a letter to Congress urging members to preserve critical protections for marginalized students in ESSA implementation.
The letter is available here.
Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.