WASHINGTON – Today, on the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Democratic leadership is unveiling a resolution affirming Congress’s intent for the Trump administration to fully enforce federal civil rights law to advance equal opportunity in education. The original co-sponsors include Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary, as well as all Members of the Democratic Caucus leadership and Tri-Caucus leadership.
“Sixty-four years after the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, racial inequality in education remains commonplace. This resolution affirms our commitment to true educational equity and pushes back against the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on civil rights protections in education,” said Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03), Committee on Education and the Workforce. “It also calls on full enforcement of the Civil Rights Act, particularly Title VI, which prohibits both intentional discrimination as well as policies and practices that disparately impact students on the basis of race, color, or nationality. The Trump administration has used its short time in office to undermine civil rights enforcement, including through the halting of systematic review, and proposed cuts to the Office of Civil Rights.”
This resolution comes on the heels of a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found students of color suffer harsher discipline for lesser offenses than their white peers, as well as a 2016 GAO report that revealed schools are resegregating at alarming rates.
“On the 64th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education we are reminded of how much work needs to be done to address racial inequality in our education system and society at-large,” said Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) of the House Judiciary Committee. “In 2016, the GAO found that schools were resegregating at alarming rates and, just last month, the GAO found that students of color suffer harsher punishment in school than their peers. These issues are exacerbated by the mounting challenges faced by students of color as the Trump administration attempts to roll back critical civil rights protections. I joined Ranking Member Scott in cosponsoring this resolution to affirm our commitment to closing the gaps that persist in educational outcomes and ensuring equal access and opportunities for all students. Congress must work to address these problems and to check the Trump administration’s abuses. Our students deserve no less.”
In 2014, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice issued a School Discipline Guidance Package to remind schools of their legal obligations to administer school discipline without discriminating on the base of race, color, or national origin. If the administration follows through on its plan to rescind or amend the Obama-era discipline package and act to further undermine the use of disparate impact in protecting civil rights, it will bring civil rights enforcement to a screeching halt.
ORIGINAL COSPONSORS: Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (SC-06), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Cedric Richmond (LA-02), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Colman (NJ-12), Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07), Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), and Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09).
ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS: American Federation of Teachers, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Education Association.