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, Consumer, and Education Groups Call on DeVos to Protect Student Loan Borrowers of Color

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WASHINGTON—Today, 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, along with 38 civil rights, consumer, and education groups, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, expressing … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

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

Latest Advocacy Letters

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

Administration Tells Public Schools Not to Deny Students Over Immigration Status

Friday, May 9, 2014

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice on Thursday issued updated guidance to public elementary and secondary schools to ensure that no child is denied equal access to education, no matter their immigration status. In a dear colleague letter, the departments jointly told schools “you must ensure that you do not discriminate on the basis … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Departments of Education and Justice: Race-Conscious Methods of Achieving Diversity Still Permissible

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice on Tuesday sent a letter providing guidance to confirm that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, issued last month, leaves untouched previous Court holdings on the permissibility of race-conscious methods of achieving diversity goals at elementary and secondary schools. “The Departments … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Voter Initiative Banning Race-Conscious Admissions

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In a 6-2 decision today in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (companion case Schuette v. Cantrell), the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling and upheld a Michigan voter initiative that bans the practice of race-conscious admissions to the state’s public universities. “Today’s decision reiterated the constitutionality of race-conscious … Read More

Categories: Education, News