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 and Education Groups to DeVos: Don’t Use Regulatory Review Process to Undermine Civil Rights

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WASHINGTON—Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of approximately 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, submitted comments with 43 civil rights and education groups to the U.S. Department of Education in response to the notice posted … Read More

Categories: Education, Press Releases

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

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

Spotlight on Humphrey Honoree: Randi Weingarten

Friday, April 18, 2014

On May 15, the civil and human rights community will honor American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten with its highest honor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award, for her lifelong commitment to improving America’s education system. At the 1.5 million-member AFT, Weingarten represents teachers, higher education faculty and staff, health … Read More

Categories: Education, News

Civil and Human Rights Community Fights for Educational Opportunity

Friday, April 11, 2014

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education this year, civil and human rights groups are fighting for educational equity on a number of fronts to make the promise of Brown a reality. The truth of the last 60 years is that, despite significant progress, it is impossible to claim that … Read More

Categories: Education, News

New Data Finds Huge Racial Disparities in America’s Public Schools

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights on Friday released data providing a comprehensive look at how all 97,000 public schools in the United States are educating the nation’s children. The data, which is from the 2011-12 school year, paint a bleak picture for minority students in our public schools. “For the first time … Read More

Categories: Education, News