Phone (202) 608-6310 • (800) 221-2651
Fax (202) 608-6319
September 15, 2017
Ms. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
Dear Secretary DeVos:
The National Alliance of Black School Educators, a national and professional organization committed to the education of all children but in specific, children of African descent, write to respond to the request for comments in the Federal Register of 06/22/2017. We strongly request that the civil rights laws regulatory tools required by the Department of Education be continued and enforced.
In order to make sure that schools understand what the law requires of them, and to make sure that everyone understands the protections students have, regulations (or rules) and guidance have been developed over the past several years to clarify the law. We support our civil rights laws and those regulatory tools that help to make sure students receive the protections and supports they deserve.
We need to use all of the tools we can, to support students who are Black, Latino, Asian American, Native American, immigrants, English learners, girls, LGBTQ or students with disabilities who face too many barriers to educational success. We need to use all of the tools we can (to change that problem) and make sure ALL children get the education they deserve. Now is not the time to take these tools away or weaken them. We oppose any effort to rescind, modify or replace regulations and guidance that clarify our civil rights and education laws.
Over the history of public education in our Country, select students and in particular, student of African descent have been negatively impacted by policies and practices of state and federal administrations. In most cases these practices and policies did not meet the standard set by the 14th Amendment. The civil rights laws of 1964-65 speak clearly to these aggressions and attacks on the rights of children of African descent and thus required the rules and regulations that are now in place.
“EDUCATION IS A CIVIL RIGHT”
Historically, we have seen barriers constructed particularly at the state level that threatened equal accessible education for Black children. It is imperative at the federal level that civil rights tools accompany education legislation. These tools are essential to grant equal protection under the constitution of the United States.
We oppose any effort to rescind, modify or replace regulations and guidance that clarify our civil rights and education laws. We expect that the Department of Education will be bold in helping our nation’s schools provide high-quality education for all children.
NABSE communicates with Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos
NABSE recently communicated with the US Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos expressing our concern that the Civil Rights Laws and regulatory tools currently required by the Education Department be continued and enforced without reduction. A letter submitted by NABSE President, Marietta English is provided for your reading and information, to inform you of the possible government considerations to undue and change procedures which will affect students in our schools. It is hoped that all educators will examine policy, local, state and national and express their opinions regarding the quality and equality of educational programs and funding for our students throughout the country.