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

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

Gun Safety Legislation Must Not Militarize, Overpolice Schools and Communities

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Congress to ‘heed voices of those affected by gun violence’ WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement as negotiations on legislation to curb gun violence unfold in Congress:  “The horrific Parkland murders are the latest in … Read More

Categories: Criminal Justice, Education, Press Releases

DeVos Proposes Delay of Vital Special Education Rule

Monday, February 26, 2018

WASHINGTON—Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the Department of Education’s proposal to delay implementation of a rule that enforces the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). “Once again, Secretary DeVos has chosen to shirk her responsibility to protect the civil … 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

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