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 to OCR Head Ken Marcus: Enforce Civil Rights for All Students

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 23 civil rights groups today sent a letter to Kenneth Marcus, the irresponsibly confirmed assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. Throughout the confirmation process for assistant secretary, Marcus gave troubling statements that demonstrated his unwillingness and inability to enforce … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Radio Ads Remind Everyone: Undocumented Children Have Constitutional Right to Education

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WASHINGTON—Today, The Leadership Conference Education Fund launched Spanish language radio ads in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Arkansas, and New Mexico regarding civil rights protections for undocumented students. The Constitution guarantees, and the Supreme Court’s Plyler v. Doe decision affirmed, all children in the United States have an equal right to attend … Read More

Categories: Education, Immigration, Press Releases

Marcus Must Correct Anti-Civil Rights Record of DeVos Education Department

Thursday, June 7, 2018

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed, on a party line vote, Kenneth Marcus to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. “Today the Senate irresponsibly confirmed an individual to lead the education … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

160+ Civil Rights and Education Groups to DeVos: Clarify Legal Protections for Immigrant Children

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

WASHINGTON—Following her erroneous remarks last week at a House Education and the Workforce Committee oversight hearing, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and more than 160 civil rights and education groups called on Secretary Betsy DeVos to clarify that she understands and will enforce federal laws protecting the rights of immigrant children to … Read More

Civil Rights Groups Oppose Any Delay of IDEA Rule

Monday, May 14, 2018

WASHINGTON— Opposing any delay in the implementation of the Equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 38 civil rights groups sent a joint letter to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education. Today’s letter to … Read More

Categories: 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

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