Education Department to Step Up Civil Rights Enforcement

Speaking in Selma, Alabama, on the 45th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” voting rights march, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a major new effort to enforce the nation’s civil rights laws as they pertain to education.

Duncan announced that letters will be sent to most of the nation’s K-12 school districts and thousands of colleges and universities across the country outlining their responsibilities under the nation’s civil rights laws. In addition, before the end of the year the Education Department will begin compliance reviews in 38 school districts to determine if there is racial or gender discrimination in areas such as school discipline, assignments to special education, expulsion rates, or access to honors programs. Similar compliance reviews will be conducted at a minimum of six colleges or universities.