Civil Rights

Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
Andrew Ujifusa, September 10, 2021
3 min read
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles on April 13, 2021.
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles in April 2021.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Federal Education Department Opens Civil Rights Probes in 5 States That Ban School Mask Mandates
The move on behalf of students with disabilities deepens the fight over masks between the Biden administration and GOP governors.
Evie Blad, August 30, 2021
4 min read
Images shows a data trend line climbing high and going low.
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Federal Citing Pandemic, Ed. Dept. Will Collect School Civil Rights Data for Two Consecutive Years
The unprecedented step of collecting the trove of data two years in a row reflects equity concerns stemming from COVID-19's impact.
Evie Blad, August 13, 2021
3 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the education secretary at the U.S. Department of Education.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Senators Grill Civil Rights Nominee on Transgender Students, Sexual Assault Investigations
If confirmed as assistant secretary for civil rights, Catherine Lhamon will handle some of the Education Department's most sensitive issues.
Evie Blad, July 13, 2021
6 min read
Image of a $100 dollar bill that is cut into blocks for distribution.
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Education Funding Education Department Issues Directive on Shielding Students in Poverty From Funding Cuts
The agency released the "maintenance of equity" guidance on COVID-19 relief as part of a public-relations blitz on equity amid the pandemic.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 9, 2021
5 min read
Image of gender symbols drawn in chalk.
joxxxxjo/iStock/Getty
Federal What's at Stake in a Review of Federal Sex Discrimination Protections for Students
The Biden administration's review of Title IX may prompt new guidance on how schools deal with sexual harassment and protect LGBTQ students.
Evie Blad, June 4, 2021
10 min read
Image of a scale.
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Equity & Diversity Group Seeks Federal Probes Into Schools That Pledge to Address Systemic Racism
Parents Defending Education, a group critical of anti-racism and "woke" education, says such district efforts may violate federal law.
Andrew Ujifusa, May 17, 2021
8 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Biden Pick for Education Civil Rights Office Has History With Racial Equity, LGBTQ Issues
Biden selected Catherine Lhamon to lead the Education Department's civil rights work, a role she also held in the Obama administration.
Evie Blad, May 13, 2021
2 min read
Image of data.
monsitj/iStock/Getty
Federal How the Pandemic Is Affecting Schools' Mandated Collection of Key Civil Rights Data
COVID-19 has complicated the work of gathering a vast store of civil rights data about schools that is required by the Education Department.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 22, 2021
7 min read
A supporter for the transgender community holds a trans flag in front of counter-protesters to protect attendees from their insults and obscenities at the city's Gay Pride Festival in Atlanta on Oct. 12, 2019.
A transgender rights supporter holds a flag at Atlanta's Gay Pride Festival in October 2019.
Robin Rayne/AP
Law & Courts School Sports a Fresh Front in State Battles Over Transgender Students' Rights
Lawmakers in at least 10 states are pushing legislation that would prohibit transgender students from playing on single-sex sports teams.
Evie Blad, January 28, 2021
9 min read
Image of people at voting booths.
LPETTET/E+
Law & Courts District's At-Large Elections Violated Minority Voting Rights, Federal Appeals Court Finds
The case involves school board elections in a majority Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish district with a large Black and Latino population.
Mark Walsh, January 7, 2021
3 min read
people hold hands in solidarity forming a chain
iStock/Getty
Federal Opinion How the Biden Administration Can Restore Civil Rights in Ed. Policy
Reversing Trump administration cuts to civil rights protections should be a top priority for President-elect Joe Biden, write five researchers.
Kathryn McDermott, Janelle Scott, Erica Frankenberg, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley & Elizabeth DeBray, December 18, 2020
5 min read
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos arrives for an event in the State Dining room of the White House in Washington. As millions of American children start the school year online, the Trump administration is hoping to convert their parents’ frustration and anger into newfound support for school choice policies that DeVos has long championed but struggled to advance nationally.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos arrives at a White House event in August. Civil rights activists expect the next education secretary will restore guidance to schools that she rescinded on transgender students’ rights, sexual assault, and school integration efforts.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
Federal Schools Could See U-Turn on Civil Rights Under Biden
Activists expect to see renewed guidance, more active enforcement, and better data collection from the Ed. Department’s civil rights office.
Christina A. Samuels, December 2, 2020
8 min read
Equity & Diversity There's No Constitutional Right to Civics Education, a Federal Judge Reluctantly Concludes
The student plaintiffs plan to appeal the ruling, and other similarly themed lawsuits have prevailed on appeal.
Stephen Sawchuk, October 14, 2020
5 min read