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

In Education Week, Former Civil Rights Directors Call for Schools Where All Students Can Learn and Thrive

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

WASHINGTON – In an Education Week commentary, the former heads of the civil rights offices at the Departments of Justice and Education call for school discipline guidelines that ensure safe, high-quality schools where students, teachers, and staff are treated with dignity and respect. The piece is co-authored by Vanita Gupta and Catherine E. Lhamon, the heads … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Nearly 150 Civil Rights and Education Groups to DeVos: Leave Discipline Guidance in Place

Thursday, March 22, 2018

WASHINGTON—Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 145 local, state, and national civil and human rights and education groups sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos opposing any changes to or rescission of the 2014 school discipline guidance developed and released jointly by the U.S. Department of Education and Department … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Police in Schools is Nothing More Than an Illusion of School Safety

Monday, March 19, 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Advancement Project, National Disability Rights Network, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund hosted a telephone press briefing to discuss why current efforts in Congress and by the Trump administration to increase “school security” will not address the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Civil … Read More

Categories: Criminal Justice, Education, Press Releases

House School Safety Bill Wrong Approach to the Problem

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the STOP School Violence Act: “Today’s House vote is a major disappointment. Legislation that should increase safety restrictions and limitations on gun purchases has instead become a ‘school … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Sessions Plans to Militarize Schools and Overpolice Children

Monday, March 12, 2018

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ plan to militarize schools and overpolice children:  “Sessions’ plan is unacceptable and will harm our children – especially children of color. The Trump administration’s response to the epidemic of gun violence … Read More

Categories: Criminal Justice, Education, Press Releases

Latest Advocacy Letters

Support Positive Solutions to Keep Children Safe in Schools, Oppose Criminalization of Our Youth

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. Dear Representative, 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 rights of all persons in the United States, we urge you to oppose H.R. 4909, the Student, … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Oppose the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017” (H.R. 620)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

View a PDF of this letter here. Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives OPPOSE THE “ADA EDUCATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2017” (H.R. 620) Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi: On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 organizations to promote and … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Disability Rights, Education, Human Rights

Oppose the Confirmation of Kenneth Marcus for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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, and the 58 undersigned organizations, we are writing to urge … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Latest News

New Reports Document Massive Resource Inequities in Public Schools

Monday, June 8, 2015

On June 8, The Leadership Conference Education Fund – along with Education Law Center (ELC) – released “Cheating our Future: How Decades of Disinvestment by States Continues to Jeopardize Equal Education Opportunity,” its new report detailing the enormous resource disparities in public schools nationwide. In addition, the Newark, N.J.-based ELC released its fourth national report … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Groups Call for Federal Loan Relief for Students of Corinthian Colleges

Monday, May 4, 2015

On May 1, Americans for Financial Reform and 33 other organizations, including The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urging him and the Department of Education to ensure that all current and former students of the for-profit Corinthian Colleges receive federal loan discharges. The for-profit … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Groups Call for Strong ESEA Reauthorization

Monday, April 13, 2015

On April 13, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 41 other national organizations sent a letter to Sens. Lamar Alexander, R. Tenn., and Patty Murray, D. Wash., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, outlining their thoughts and concerns about the bipartisan Every Child Achieves … Read More

Categories: Education, News