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 and Human Rights Coalition: Secretary DeVos Seeks to Silence Survivors of Sexual Violence

Thursday, September 7, 2017

WASHINGTON—In response to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ announcement to reconsider Title IX sexual assault guidance, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement: “Today, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos launched her latest and mean-spirited attack on students’ civil rights. Make no mistake – Secretary … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil Rights and Education Groups to State Education Chiefs: Submit ESSA Plans That Provide All Children Equitable and High-Quality Education

Thursday, August 3, 2017

WASHINGTON—Earlier this week, 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 U.S., along with 22 civil rights and education groups, sent a letter to 34 state education chiefs, urging them to … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Slams Reported Justice Department Move to Weaken Educational Opportunity

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

WASHINGTON— Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement based on a report by The New York Times that the “Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed … Read More

Categories: Education, Equal Opportunity, Press Releases

Civil Rights and Education Groups Call on Department of Education to Support Protections Against Sex Discrimination

Thursday, July 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 36 civil rights and education organizations wrote to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in support of critical policy guidance clarifying schools’ responsibility to prevent and address sex discrimination under Title IX. The groups called on the Department of Education to work to protect … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Administration’s New Instructions on Transgender Student Discrimination

Friday, June 16, 2017

WASHINGTON—In response to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Instructions to the Field Regarding Complaints Involving Transgender Students, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement: “In February, in a mean-spirited move, Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions rescinded important guidance clarifying schools’ … Read More

Categories: Education, LGBTQ Rights, Press Releases

Latest Advocacy Letters

Letter to Secretary DeVos Re: ESSA State Plan Review

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Recipient: Secretary DeVos View the PDF of this letter here. Dear Secretary DeVos, On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 24 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 … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Letter to Secretary DeVos Re: the Office for Civil Rights

Monday, April 24, 2017

Secretary DeVos View the PDF of this letter with footnotes here. Dear Secretary DeVos: On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 27 undersigned organizations, we write to express our deep concerns about the seriousness with which the Department of Education is approaching its central responsibility to protect students from … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education

Letter to Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray Re: the Office for Civil Rights

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray View the PDF of this letter with footnotes here. Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray: On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 26 undersigned organizations, we write to express our deep concerns about the Department of Education’s seriousness in approaching its central … Read More

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Education, Equal Opportunity

Latest News

Reinvesting in Children 60 Years After Brown

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This post originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org on May 22, 2014. On May 17, we celebrated the anniversary of a turning point in American education – a commemoration of the end – or so we hoped – of “separate but equal.” But even 60 years after the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Groups Say Common Core Needed to Fulfill Promise of Brown Decision

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

On Monday, The Leadership Conference joined with several other civil rights and education groups in signing onto a full-page ad placed in the New York Times to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the landmark school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education and to demonstrate their strong, united support for the equitable implementation of … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Department of Education: Charter Schools Must Comply With Civil Rights Laws

Friday, May 16, 2014

Days before the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on Wednesday released guidance to verify explicitly that federal civil rights laws that apply to public schools also apply to public charter schools. “We applaud the Department of Education for releasing this very … Read More

Categories: Education, News