Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Cuts Down on Obama-Era Civil-Rights Investigations in Schools

The U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos has rolled back on civil-rights investigations in schools, giving districts room to discriminate in their disciplinary systems, ProPublica reports. A leaked June 2017 memo shows DeVos ordered investigators put in place during the Obama administration to “limit proactive civil-rights probes rather than expanding them to identify systemic patterns.” The change has resulted in a move away from finding unfair racial disparities in schools and given more power to regional offices to resolve cases themselves. Under DeVos’ tenure, the Department of Education has closed “65 school-discipline investigations opened under Obama,” saying that a majority of them had “‘moot’ allegations or insufficient evidence or details.” In one case that was closed in Bryan, Texas, a school was found to discipline black students four times more than it did with white students, according to a ProPublica analysis. The Department of Education claimed the changes are working toward trying to solve civil-rights cases in a “more timely and efficient manner[.]”


SOURCE: The Daily Beast