120 Groups Urge Federal Funding for Counselors and Supports, Instead of School Police

Contact: Charmaine Riley, [email protected], 202.548.7166

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 119 civil rights, justice reform, and education organizations today called on Congress to support the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act [S. 4360/H.R. 7848]. The bill would prohibit federal funding for school-based law enforcement and instead invest in counselors and other supports that create positive learning environments, especially for students of color, Native students, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students who are disproportionally harmed by school policing.

“Congress has a responsibility to children and youth to reserve federal funds for counselors, nurses, and those supportive adults who are specially trained to help build positive learning environments and support children’s success,” the groups wrote. “The Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act prohibits federal funds that support the hiring, recruitment, and placement of police officers on K-12 school campuses and, instead, establishes a $2.5 billion grant program to invest in school districts that remove law enforcement so that schools can provide adequately trained personnel and trauma-informed services to improve the learning environment for children.”

The groups added, “Our nation is at an inflection point with the funding for, and role and presence of law enforcement agencies in marginalized communities, as Black, Latino, Native, and Southeast Asian people continue to be unjustly targeted by police officers. Youth advocates are – and have been – leading the way on this charge in K-12 schools and on college campuses. Policymakers must follow this leadership and ensure Black, Native, Latino, and Southeast Asian American children and other historically marginalized students attend schools that include the supportive professionals who build positive learning environments and are free from school-based law enforcement.”

The signatories and letter are available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 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 member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.