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 and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Senate HELP Committee for Advancing DeVos Nomination

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the Senate HELP Committee’s party-line vote recommending Betsy DeVos’ nomination to be U.S. Secretary of Education: “The Republican majority on the Senate HELP Committee made a critical mistake today. Betsy DeVos is simply unqualified … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Statement of 31 Civil and Human Rights and Education Groups on Draft ESSA Accountability Regulations

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 30 organizations listed below released the following statement regarding draft accountability regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) issued by the Department of Education in May: “The regulations the Department proposed in May are a good first step towards ensuring that all … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

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Civil Rights Leaders Urge Governor Corbett to Immediately Address Philadelphia’s Budget Crisis

Friday, October 11, 2013

Civil and human rights leaders sent a letter this week urging Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett to take immediate action to address the ongoing budget crisis in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). SDP faces a $300 million budget shortfall that forced officials to make drastic cuts, resulting in more than 137,000 students, 85 percent of … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Civil Rights Groups Recognize the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by Drawing Attention to Racial Disparities in U.S. Education System

Monday, September 23, 2013

By Tamera Willis, a Fall 2013 Intern Though the U.S. Constitution was built on the ideals of equality and equal opportunity, the reality for low-income, minority American children navigating our education system is very different. To address these issues, and in light of the upcoming 109th session of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva in … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Civil and Human Rights Groups Oppose Kline ESEA Bill; Support Miller Alternative

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote this week on the “Student Success Act,” which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Civil and human rights groups believe the bill introduced by Rep. John Kline, R. Minn., constitutes a “rollback.” Thirty-five civil and human rights groups sent a letter to the House opposing … Read More

Categories: Education, News