ELC joined more than a dozen other civil rights organizations in releasing a new report highlighting the ways the Trump Administration is aggressively and intentionally limiting the civil rights protections of children and youth of color in schools. The Report was prepared by the Civil Rights Roundtable, a national coalition of organizations and academic professionals who are experts in the fields of school discipline, civil rights, and disability law. The Report analyzes recent changes in policies, regulations, and enforcement agency action which significantly impact children and youth of color, including reductions in Office of Civil Rights investigations of systemic claims, the proposed rescission of the Title VI discipline guidance, and delay and potential rescission of racial disproportionality regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These changes threaten to have a devastating impact on a generation of children and youth of color who are already disproportionately excluded from the classroom. The Report demonstrates that the policy, regulatory, and guidance revisions undertaken by the Trump Administration surpass the ordinary actions of a new administration and should be recognized as an intentional and substantial threat to decades of civil rights protections. The Report highlights a series of important recommendations to change this trajectory. Read the report here.
On January 16, 2018, ELC submitted comments to the US Commission on Civil Rights to highlight the fundamental importance of federal guidance and regulations in protecting the education rights of students of color who have disabilities. Citing data showing significant and continuing disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes due to discrimination on the basis of race and disability, the comments conclude: “ELC applauds the U.S Commission on Civil Rights’ efforts to highlight the issue of discriminatory discipline of students of color with disabilities and the need for continued enforcement of federal laws that directly addresses racial and disability disproportionality. We urge federal policymakers to continue and enhance enforcement through full implementation of the Guidance to encourage districts to remedy profound disciplinary disparities among students of color with disabilities.” The comments were prepared by ELC attorneys Reynelle Brown Staley, Deborah Klehr, Maura McInerney, and Kristina Moon. Read the comments here.