LDF applauds the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights release today of guidance to states, school districts, and schools to help ensure that all students have access to equal educational opportunity through the equitable distribution of school resources. All states and schools have an obligation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure that students, regardless of race, color, or national origin, have access to resources needed to succeed in school and be equipped for the competitive workforce. The guidance also details how the Office for Civil Rights investigates resource disparities.
LDF recently issued a report on African American girls and education, along with the National Women’s Law Center, highlighting the importance of access to equitable school resources for college and career readiness. The report details how resource inequities negatively impact educational achievement and career-readiness and contribute to achievement gaps. For African American girls, many of whom fought for equitable resources during the Civil Rights era, resource inequities can impact their preparedness in foundational subjects, like the sciences. Critical resources include rigorous coursework, like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses, licensed teachers, and athletics and other extracurricular opportunities.