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, Children’s Advocacy, and Education Groups Support Racial Equity in Special Education

Thursday, December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 112 civil rights (including disability rights), education, and children’s advocacy organizations sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressing their continued support for the robust enforcement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provisions regarding significant disproportionality in the identification, … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Calls on Ken Marcus to Clarify He Would Protect All Children’s Rights

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

WASHINGTON—In response to today’s hearing on Ken Marcus’ nomination to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement: “The nation’s children and families deserve an Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights with a demonstrated record of support for all … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil Rights and Education Groups Call on DeVos to Reject New York’s ESSA Waiver Request

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

WASHINGTON – 17 civil rights and education organizations came together today to urge U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to reject New York’s requested waivers under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In its consolidated state plan submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on September 18, the New York State Department of Education formally … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil Rights and Education Groups Urge DeVos to Reject Florida’s Submitted ESSA Plan

Thursday, November 9, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with 17 civil rights and education groups, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, expressing significant concerns regarding Florida’s submitted state ESSA plan.  The letter strongly agrees with and reinforces the views set forth in a September letter to Governor … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Demands Thorough Review of Nominee to Lead Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights

Thursday, October 26, 2017

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the nomination of Kenneth L. Marcus to be the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education: “The Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights is one of the most important roles in the education … Read More

Categories: Civil Rights Enforcement, Education, Press Releases

Latest Advocacy Letters

Letter re: enforcement of IDEA provisions regarding significant disproportionality

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

View a PDF of this letter here. Recipient: Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education Dear Secretary DeVos, On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 112 undersigned organizations, we write to offer our strong support for the robust enforcement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provisions regarding significant … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Letter Urging Robust Vetting of Ken Marcus, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

Monday, December 4, 2017

View a PDF of this letter here. Dear Senator, On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations committed to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we are writing to urge robust vetting of President Trump’s … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Letter Urging Rejection of New York’s ESSA Waiver Request

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

View a PDF of this letter here. Dear Secretary DeVos, On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 16 organizations listed below, we urge you to ensure that children receive the support and attention they deserve through the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As many of us … 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