Education

The nation cannot afford discriminatory barriers that unfairly limit or deny educational access based on factors like race, national origin, sex, or disability. Inequality in education prevents the nation from fulfilling its potential, and ensuring equal educational opportunity remains one of the civil rights movement's top priorities.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Cover image for ESSA Guide for AdvocatesSigned into law on December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) serves as the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. ESEA was developed in response to the demands of communities during the civil rights movement that more be done by the federal government to address poverty and limited educational opportunity for people of color. ESEA was last reauthorized in 2002 and signed into law by President George W. Bush as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

The Leadership Conference seeks to inform parents and community stakeholders about the requirements of this new law so that they are able to use these tools to demand the education all children deserve.

You can download the Every Student Succeeds Act Guide for Advocates here (PDF).

Latests Press Statements

Civil Rights Groups Shame Department of Education for Reinstating ECA

Thursday, January 17, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 12 national and local education and civil rights groups sent a letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education regarding the reaccreditation of the Education Corporation of America (ECA), a for-profit academic institution that historically and disproportionately disenfranchises black and brown … Read More

Civil Rights Groups Demand Trump Administration Vigorously Protect Students from Discrimination

Thursday, January 10, 2019

WASHINGTON – In the last days of 2018, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice rescinded the joint Dear Colleague Letter on the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 119 state and national education and civil rights groups today sent a letter to the … Read More

Students Deserve Better: New Website Urges Department of Education to Protect Students’ Rights

Thursday, January 3, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Leadership Conference Education Fund today launched a new website, “Students Deserve Better,” to hold the Department of Education and its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) accountable for an unwillingness to protect students’ civil rights.  The campaign aims to empower parents and other education advocates to raise their voices and press Education Secretary Betsy DeVos … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

DeVos and DOJ Repeal Discipline Guidance that Clarifies Children’s Civil Rights

Friday, December 21, 2018

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice rescinded the Dear Colleague Letter on the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline. The guidance was issued jointly by both departments in January 2014: “This decision … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Children Deserve to be Safe in Schools, Not Have Their Rights Taken Away

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the School Safety Commission’s report: “The School Safety Commission report lays out policies and practices that make children less safe and deny them educational opportunities. It is unconscionable to use the very real horror of … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Latest Advocacy Letters

The Education Department’s Protection of High Cost, Low Quality Institutions Continues to Negatively Affects Black and Latino Students

Thursday, January 17, 2019

View a PDF of this letter here. The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202 Dear Secretary DeVos: On behalf 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 … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Letter to ED and DOJ: Opposition to Rescission of Joint School Discipline Guidance Package

Thursday, January 10, 2019

View a PDF of this letter here.  The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20202 The Honorable Matthew Whitaker Acting Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20530 The Honorable Ken Marcus Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education 400 … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Civil and Human Rights Community Opposition to Use of ESSA Funds for Weapons

Monday, September 17, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. September 17, 2018 The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202 RE: Opposition to Use of ESSA Funds for Weapons Dear Secretary DeVos: On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Latest News

Senate HELP Committee Advances DeVos Nomination

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Yesterday, January 31, the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted 12-11 to advance the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be U.S. Secretary of Education to the full Senate for a vote. “The Republican majority on the Senate HELP Committee made a critical mistake today. Betsy DeVos is simply unqualified and unprepared to … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Vast Racial Disparities in America’s Public Schools Persist, Data Show

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on Tuesday released results of its survey – the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) – providing a comprehensive look at how more than 95,000 public schools in the United States are educating the nation’s children. The data, which is from the 2013-14 school year, paint a bleak … Read More

Categories: Education, News

This Vermont Teacher Wants an Education Bill that Strengthens Accountability

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

By Tara Yarlagadda, Field Associate Earlier this week, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights shared a message from Terri Vest, who teaches 11th grade English, social studies, and online psychology courses at Twinfield Union School, a pre-K-12 school in Vermont. In her message, Terri highlighted her background as an educator and made an … Read More

Categories: Education, News