A civil rights coalition including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc (LDF) is urging Congress to double the funding of the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. The Coalition is advocating for an additional $130 million to be appropriated to the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights FY2021 budget. Additional funding is needed to support an improved, more timely Civil Rights Data Collection, to implement stronger civil rights guidance and provide technical assistance, to address staffing and other needs necessary to address the backlog of civil rights complaints, pursue proactive compliance reviews to ensure federally funded programs are not engaging in racial or other forms of discrimination, and more. Even as students transition to remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial disparities still permeate the virtual classroom. The OCR needs additional funding to not only rebuild and refocus following the previous administration that routinely attacked civil rights and has contributed to a racially hostile environment across the country, but also to address the ongoing challenges that LDF has worked to address for decades including racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions, hair discrimination in schools, and more.

Read the full letter here


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.