Education Policy

Federal Education Advocacy

The promise of quality education is our nation’s promise not to the privileged few but to all our children.

Federal education policies impact funding for schools that serve marginalized students, enforcement of critical civil rights protections, and important data collection requirements. Federal agency and court decisions impact how schools across the country serve students.

IDRA works to ensure these laws, rules and court decisions are equitable and expand educational opportunities for all students, especially historically-underserved students, including students of color, students from families with limited incomes, immigrant students, emergent bilingual students and students with disabilities.

IDRA’s educator training, research, and policy experience in states across the U.S. South informs our national policy work. We bring research, data, and student and family experience to federal bodies to ensure equitable policymaking at every level and work to expand access to federal policymaking spaces to all.Learn more about IDRA’s work to build safe and welcoming schools for all students below.

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Learn more about IDRA’s federal policy recommendations.


Resources 

Changing Policy

IDRA’s Federal Policy Priorities

Joint letter to the U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Secretary of Education urging the update and release of robust federal guidance on discriminatory discipline practices in schools (with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), November 7, 2022

IDRA Written Testimony for a Listening Session on Federal Relief – The Next Steps for our Children, Teachers and Parents in Uvalde – Testimony by Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement Presented before the U.S. Congressional Children’s Caucus, September 26, 2022

Joint letter to U.S. Senate leadership in response to bipartisan Senate legislative proposal on gun violence prevention, June 14, 2022

Joint public comment submitted by the Biden Administration urging action to protect immigrant families, April 25, 2022

Joint comment submitted to the U.S. Department in support of transparency for charter school grant programs. April 13, 2022

IDRA Statement to the U.S. House Oversight Committee regarding accessible books and curricula for all students. April 7, 2022

IDRA Congressional Testimony delivered to  the U.S. House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, February 16, 2022

Joint letter to U.S. congressional leaders  calling for  support of a suite of bills to address harmful school discipline and policing (with the Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition), October 26, 2021

Joint recommendations to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in response to the Request for Information Regarding the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline (with the Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition), July 23, 2021

Joint Letter to U.S. Department of Justice urging for the end of federal funding for police in schools, February 25, 2021

IDRA’s Recommendations to President-elect Biden’s Education Transition Team regarding COVID-19 relief and policies that promote systemic educational equity, December 9, 2020

Joint Letter to the Biden-Harris Administration on how to  prioritize school integration in its first 100 days(with the National Coalition on School Diversity), December 2020

Joint letter to President-Elect Joseph R. Biden regarding federal school discipline and climate recommendations (with the Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition), December 18, 2020

Joint letter to U.S. Congressmembers urging  sufficient time for data processing and quality assurance in the 2020 Census (with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), October 2020

Joint comment submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in response to the interim final rule on CARES Act Programs; Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Non-Public Schools (with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), July 30, 2020

Joint letter to the U.S Congress requesting additional COVID-19 relief funds for schools, July 27, 2020

IDRA letter to the U.S. Congress urging funding policies that promote educational equity in COVID-19 relief packages, July 27, 2020

Joint statement on educational equity and civil rights considerations during COVID-19, April 29, 2020

IDRA  letter to Congressional Leaders with recommendations for the equitable use of COVID-19 relief funds for schools, April 20, 2020

Joint letter to Congressional leaders requesting supplemental funding for emergent bilingual students in federal COVID-19 relief packages, April 17, 2020

IDRA letter to the San Antonio City Council urging the adoption of a Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis and to Establish Stronger Efforts to Promote Racial Equity in San Antonio, August 19, 2020

Supporting Legislation

Joint letter to Congressional offices urging sponsorship of the Protecting our Students in Schools Act to end corporal punishment (with the Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition),  April 29, 2022

Joint letter to the U.S. Congress urging sponsorship of five bills that promote research-based school discipline and climate strategies (The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), January 19, 2022

Joint letter to congressional leaders supporting the Strength in Diversity Act (HR 729) (with the National Coalition on School Diversity), January 11, 2022

Joint letter to congressional leaders encouraging Congress to retain the Fostering Diverse Schools Program in the FY 2022 budget (with the National Coalition on School Diversity), January 11, 2022

Acting on Research and Data 

What Safe Schools Should Look Like for Every Student – A Guide to Building Safe and Welcoming Schools and Rejecting Policies that Hurt Students, IDRA Issue Brief, by Morgan Craven, J.D., June 16, 2022

Building Supportive Schools from the Ground Up – Community Recommendations on Federal Relief Funds for Education, by Morgan Craven, J.D., December 15, 2021

Understanding and Addressing Racial Trauma and Supporting Black Students in Schools – Policy Brief, February 2021

Policy Primer: Ensuring Education Equity During and After COVID-19, IDRA’s living document listing policies to preserve and promote educational equity

Cutting Public School Relief Funds to Subsidize Private Schools – Issue Brief, July 16, 2020

Eradicating the School-to-Prison Pipeline through a Comprehensive Approach to School Equity, Arkansas Law Review, by Morgan Craven, J.D., Paula Johnson, Ph.D., & Terrence Wilson, J.D., Summer 2020

Influencing Agency and Court Actions

IDRA Statement: Supreme Court Further Erodes Separation of Church and State in Public Schools – Public School Employees Should Not Elevate Any Faith Over Another, June 28, 2022

IDRA Statement: Supreme Court Allows Use of Public Funds for Religious Instruction, Giving License to State-Subsidized Discrimination, June 22, 2022

Joint letter to the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget with recommendations to ensure that the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX rules provide strong protections against sexual harassment and other forms of sex discrimination in schools, March 15, 2022

IDRA public comment submitted to the U.S. Department of Education with recommendations for  the Civil Rights Data Collection, including general reporting procedures and demographic data elements, emergent bilingual  student data, and school discipline and policing, February 11, 2022

Joint letter to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) timing and survey instrument (with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), March 22, 2021

IDRA public comment submitted to the U.S. Department of Education regarding concerns with proposed amendments to the Title IX Gender Equity Regulations, January 30, 2019

IDRA public comment submitted to the U.S. Department of Education with recommendations on critical changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection, November 18, 2019

IDRA public comment to the U.S. Department of Education urging the withdrawal of the interim final rule on  Equitable Services in the CARES Act, July 31, 2020

IDRA’s Amicus Brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, October 30, 2015

Statements and Policy Updates

IDRA Federal Education Policy Update – Federal hearing in Uvalde, student advice, tools for schools, October 13, 2022

IDRA Federal Education Policy Update –  Challenges to the Dream Act, digital inequity, youth leaders, banning corporal punishment, May 26, 2022

IDRA Federal Education Policy Update –  Book bans, corporal punishment, and the Georgia legislative session, April 21, 2022

Joint statement: A Civil Rights Community Response to Attacks on the Right of Students to Learn About Historical and Ongoing Racial Oppression in the United States (with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), July 8, 2021

Joint Virtual Briefing on ending corporal punishment in schools – Event video

Commentary: Not aiding DACA students merciless, by Celina Moreno, for the San Antonio Express-News, May 13, 2020

IDRA Statement: Tighter Census Bureau Deadline Delivers Blow to Communities with Hard-to-Count Populations – With Changes and Action, We Are Capable of Getting a Complete Census Count, August 19, 2020

IDRA Statement: Court Decision on the “Public Charge” Rule Leaves Schools to Fill Gaps to Address Children’s Hunger, Housing Insecurity and Other Needs that Affect their Learning, January 27, 2020

Protect college admission laws that reward merit, hard work [op ed], Celina Moreno, J.D., Texas Tribune, April 4, 2019

For more resources, see IDRA’s Federal Policy site. 

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