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 Groups Urge Senate HELP Committee to Reject Confirmation of Ken Marcus to Head OCR

Thursday, January 11, 2018

WASHINGTON— Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 31 civil rights groups wrote a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) urging members to oppose the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. Civil rights … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Calls on House Committee to Interrogate DeVos’ Civil Rights Record

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

WASHINGTON—Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in advance of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ oversight hearing before the House Education and the Workforce Committee: “Tomorrow’s oversight hearing into the work of the U.S. Department of Education this year should be an opportunity to … Read More

Categories: Civil Rights Enforcement, Education, Press Releases

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

Latest Advocacy Letters

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

Civil Rights Groups Express Concerns Regarding Florida’s Submitted State ESSA Plan

Thursday, November 9, 2017

View a PDF of this letter here. November 9, 2017 The Honorable Betsy DeVos Secretary U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202 Dear Secretary DeVos, On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 17 organizations listed below, we urge you to ensure that children receive the … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Letter Re: Concerns about Impact of Student Loan Servicing and Debt Collection Changes and Undermined Regulations on Black and Latino Borrowers

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

View a PDF of this letter here.  Recipient: Secretary Betsy DeVos 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 and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, and … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Latest News

Administration Issues Guidance to Ensure English Learner Students Treated Equally

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice on Wednesday issued guidance to states, school districts, and schools to ensure that English Learner (EL) students “can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs and services.” The equal participation of EL students, who comprise 9 percent of all public school students, is ensured under Title VI of … Read More

Categories: Education, News

The Leadership Conference Urges Education Department to Maintain Accountability in State Waiver Renewals

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In a letter issued October 27, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urged Secretary Arne Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education to hold states to rigorous standards when renewing waivers under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The letter calls for a continued federal commitment to equal educational opportunity, stating, “Our … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Students and Administration at Colgate University Come Together to Combat Discrimination

Thursday, October 16, 2014

After a five-day sit-in at Colgate University, students and administrators came together on September 29 to develop a 21-point plan on how to combat racism and increase diversity on campus. Lead by the Colgate University Association of Critical Collegians, at least 350 student demonstrators gathered on the predominantly White campus to increase awareness of the … Read More

Categories: Education, News