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, Education Groups to Congress: Correct DeVos’ Approval of Unlawful ESSA Plans

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

WASHINGTON—The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 16 civil rights and education groups urged key members of Congress to fulfill their oversight responsibility of the Department of Education’s implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The groups ask the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the U.S. … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Advocates Convey Support for Civil Rights and School Safety to Secretary DeVos

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and AAUW attended the School Safety and Climate Summit hosted by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. During their roundtable discussion with Secretary DeVos, civil rights advocates expressed their frustration about the … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

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

Latest Advocacy Letters

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

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

Thursday, January 11, 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 31 undersigned organizations, we are writing to urge … 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