LCCR Marks Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education Ruling by Calling for Passage of a Student Bill of Rights

Media 05.20,03

WASHINGTON — In a letter released today, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) Executive Director Wade Henderson and Chairperson Dorothy I. Height announced LCCR’s support for H.R. 236, the Student Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.). The endorsement just prior to the 49th anniversary of the landmark ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Court first called for an end to segregation in public schools.

“We thank you for introducing this important proposal to promote equality of opportunity in the provision of critical educational resources by the states,” LCCR stated in the letter to Representative Fattah. “LCCR believes that H.R. 236 fulfills the 49 year old promise of Brown v. Board of Education, by ensuring that all children will have equal access to educational resources.”

“The Student Bill of Rights is an important step in solving the problem of the wide disparities in resources that still exist in many states between schools and districts,” the letter continued. “H.R. 236 will hold states accountable for the quality of the public education they provide. Within twelve years of enactment, states must be able to prove that all public schools provide the essentials of educational opportunity, including quality teachers, principals and curricula, small classes, up-to-date textbooks and materials, well-stocked libraries, modern facilities and computers and well-trained guidance counselors. States will also be required to provide comparable educational services among all school districts.”

The letter concluded by noting that equal access to educational resources is essential to fulfilling the promise of more recent educational reforms as well: “Ensuring that all students have access to the fundamentals necessary for educational success is a matter of simple justice, and is essential to the school reform and accountability objectives of the No Child Left Behind Act,” LCCR wrote.