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

113 Civil Rights and Education Groups Urge Secretary DeVos to Keep Children Safe and Firearms Out of Schools

Monday, September 17, 2018

WASHINGTON— The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 112 national, state, and local civil rights and education groups wrote a letter today to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos opposing the use of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) funds to purchase firearms and firearms training. The groups write: “ESSA is not intended to fund firearms … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil Rights and Education Groups: Students of Color Must Be Protected from For-Profit College Exploitation

Thursday, September 13, 2018

WASHINGTON—The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 22 civil rights and education groups submitted a Federal Register comment today opposing the department’s proposal to rescind the 2014 gainful employment regulations. These regulations were designed to ensure that educational programs facilitating student borrowing provide an education that enables students to repay their loans. They … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Back-to-School Video Campaign Urges DeVos to Reverse Course and Protect Students’ Rights

Monday, September 10, 2018

WASHINGTON—This back-to-school season, The Leadership Conference Education Fund launched a new video campaign, “Students Deserve Better.” The campaign aims to ignite viewers to call on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education to reverse course and uphold civil rights for all students. “Secretary DeVos’ mean-spirited attacks on students’ civil rights are a direct … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Justice Department Files Amicus Brief Opposing Diversity

Thursday, August 30, 2018

WASHINGTON— Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to file an amicus brief opposing Harvard College’s motion for summary judgement in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard: “The Sessions Justice Department’s intervention in this case opposes … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Department of Education to Student Borrowers: We Will Not Have Your Back

Thursday, July 26, 2018

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the Department of Education’s proposed new borrower defense rules: “With these borrower defense draft rules, the Department of Education is once again proposing to fail our nation’s students and fail to enforce our nation’s laws. … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Latest Advocacy Letters

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

Civil Rights Community Opposes Repeal of Gainful Employment Rule

Thursday, September 13, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. September 13, 2018 The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202 RE: Docket ID ED-2018-OPE-0042 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 … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Civil and Human Rights Community Joint Comment on Borrower Defense NPRM

Thursday, August 30, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. August 30, 2018 The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary of Education U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave. SW Washington, DC 20202 RE: Docket ID ED-2018–OPE–0027 Dear Secretary DeVos: On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more … 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