In AJC’s Get Schooled blog hosted by Maureen Downey, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushes back on the Trump’s administration call to leave enforcement of federal civil rights laws to states.
Duncan notes that while Trump has claimed education to be “the civil rights issue of our time,” leaving it up to states to protect civil rights will not hold water.
Sadly, states and local school districts have a long history of valuing some students more than others. A history of providing more—more spending, more high quality teachers, more advanced courses—to the children of the powerful than to those of everybody else. A history of excluding those who are different, especially if they are more challenging—or more expensive—to educate.
And Georgia is no stranger to discrimination against our state’s most vulnerable students.
Of course, like Duncan, “we wish such oversight were no longer necessary” but the reality is that we do need it—and perhaps now more than ever when we see our states weakening on protections for students that need it most.
Duncan, along with a coalition of more than 200 civil rights organizations, is “[calling] on Congress, the Trump administration and Americans everywhere to defend civil rights and urge strong, uncompromising enforcement of our laws.”