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

DeVos and Sessions Rescind Key Guidance on School Diversity

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

WASHINGTON — Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement following reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will rescind guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice that provides a roadmap to implement voluntary diversity and integration programs consistent with Supreme … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil Rights Groups to OCR Head Ken Marcus: Enforce Civil Rights for All Students

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 23 civil rights groups today sent a letter to Kenneth Marcus, the irresponsibly confirmed assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. Throughout the confirmation process for assistant secretary, Marcus gave troubling statements that demonstrated his unwillingness and inability to enforce … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Radio Ads Remind Everyone: Undocumented Children Have Constitutional Right to Education

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WASHINGTON—Today, The Leadership Conference Education Fund launched Spanish language radio ads in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Arkansas, and New Mexico regarding civil rights protections for undocumented students. The Constitution guarantees, and the Supreme Court’s Plyler v. Doe decision affirmed, all children in the United States have an equal right to attend … Read More

Categories: Education, Immigration, Press Releases

Marcus Must Correct Anti-Civil Rights Record of DeVos Education Department

Thursday, June 7, 2018

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed, on a party line vote, Kenneth Marcus to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. “Today the Senate irresponsibly confirmed an individual to lead the education … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

160+ Civil Rights and Education Groups to DeVos: Clarify Legal Protections for Immigrant Children

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

WASHINGTON—Following her erroneous remarks last week at a House Education and the Workforce Committee oversight hearing, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and more than 160 civil rights and education groups called on Secretary Betsy DeVos to clarify that she understands and will enforce federal laws protecting the rights of immigrant children to … Read More

Latest Advocacy Letters

Civil Rights Community Letter to Ken Marcus Following His Confirmation

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. June 27, 2018 The Honorable Ken Marcus Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202 Dear Assistant Secretary Marcus, On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 23 undersigned organizations, we write to urge you … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Secretary DeVos: Respect Plyler and Protect Immigrant Children

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. June 4, 2018 The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 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 … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education, Immigration

Comments on Enforcement of Significant Disproportionality Provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Monday, May 14, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. Johnny W. Collett Assistant Secretary Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Room 5107, Potomac Center Plaza Washington, DC 20202-2500 RE: Docket ID ED-2017-OSERS-0128 Dear Assistant Secretary Collett, On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Comments, 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