Two Congressmen Issue Statement on Rescinding Obama-Era Guidance Promoting Campus Diversity

WASHINGTON, July 3 — Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, ranking Democratic member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, issued the following joint statement after the Trump administration announced that it will rescind Obama-era guidance promoting diversity on campuses:

“The Trump administration’s decision to rescind Obama-era guidance promoting campus diversity contradicts the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas that schools have a compelling interest in pursuing a diverse student body.

“In addition, it disregards extensive research demonstrating the benefits of campus diversity for all students. Today, the Trump administration is once again eroding important civil rights protections without providing a legitimate rationale or legal justification.

“Diversity is a core American value. While the administration has the authority to change existing guidance, it does not have the power to amend existing law. Admissions policies that promote equal opportunity for students by using race as one of several factors remain lawful and valuable to students of all races. We strongly encourage educators to continue implementing diversity initiatives that expand access to a quality, well-rounded education.”

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The Trump administration has repeatedly taken action to undermine students’ civil rights protections.

* The administration recently delayed the implementation of a long-overdue rule designed to address racial disparities (https://democrats-edworkforce.house.gov/media/press-releases/-scott-and-murray-on-the-rollback-of-civil-rights-for-students-with-disabilities-students-of-color-) in the identification, placement, and discipline of children of color with disabilities.

* According to a ProPublica analysis (https://www.propublica.org/article/devos-has-scuttled-more-than-1-200-civil-rights-probes-inherited-from-obama), the Education Department has shut down more than 1,200 civil rights investigations that were begun under the Obama administration and lasted at least six months.

* The Department of Education continues to signal its intent to rescind the 2014 ED-DOJ School Discipline Guidance Package (https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/scott-urges-devos-to-uphold-and-protect-students-civil-rights), which addresses the dramatic racial differences in school discipline.

This article provided by NewsEdge.