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.
Learn more about IDRA’s work to build safe and welcoming schools for all students below.
While state laws and education agency rules influence much of how schools function, federal policies and court decisions also play a critical role in how students are served in elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.
Federal laws, like the Every Student Succeeds Act, the CARES Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, provide funding, protections and programmatic support to schools with historically underserved students, including students of color, students from families with limited incomes, immigrant students, English learners and students with disabilities.
Federal agency rules and guidance provide instructions for schools about how departments interpret and enforce federal law, including important civil rights protections for students. And decisions made by federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, influence how schools, districts, municipalities, states and many others comply with laws.
IDRA’s national policy work brings research, data, and student and family experience to federal bodies to ensure equitable policymaking at every level.
Learn more about IDRA’s national priority policy recommendations.
IDRA and over 1,070 organizations, representing all 50 states and D.C., submitted a public comment to the Biden Administration urging action to protect immigrant families, April 25, 2022
IDRA and 20 other Texas education and policy organizations submitted joint comments to the U.S. Department in support of proposed rules that would make the federal Charter School Program grants more transparent and accountable to taxpayers. If adopted, charter schools that apply for the federal start-up funds would be required to document the impact on the affected school districts and students who choose to attend their local public schools. April 13, 2022
Serving All Students: Promoting a Healthier, More Supportive School Environment, Hearing by the U.S. House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, February 16, 2022
- Serving All Students – Promoting a Healthier, More Supportive School Environment, Written Testimony by Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement
- Verbal Testimony Presented by Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement
- Video of the hearing
Joint letter to the calling for action in support of a suite of bills to address harmful school discipline and policing, with Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition and 205 other organizations, October 26, 2021
Joint Letter to U.S. Department of Justice urging for the end federal funding for police in schools, with American Civil Liberties Union and 150 other organizations, February 25, 2021
IDRA Gives Recommendations to Members of the President-elect Biden Education Transition Team – Incoming administration should focus on much-needed COVID-19 relief and policies that promote systemic educational equity, December 9, 2020
10 Ways the Biden/Harris Administration Can Prioritize School Integration in its First 100 Days, National Coalition on School Diversity (IDRA is a member), December 2020
President-Elect Joseph R. Biden regarding Federal School Discipline and Climate Recommendations, signed by Open Society Policy Center, IDRA and almost 100 other organizations and individuals, December 18, 2020
Comments in Response to Interim Final Rule on CARES Act Programs; Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Non-Public Schools, Leadership Conference Sign-On Letter, July 30, 2020
Joint Letter to Congress Regarding Next Round of COVID-19 Funding, with Southern Education Foundation and others, July 27, 2020
Joint Statement on Educational Equity During COVID-19, April 29, 2020
IDRA CARES Act Letter to Congressional Leaders, April 20, 2020
Signing on to Legislation
IDRA joins more than 200 organizations and individuals as part of the Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition to send letter to Congressional offices to end corporal punishment. April 29, 2022
Support Legislation to Advance Safe, Healthy, and Inclusive School Climates, joint letter with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 230 other organizations. The five bills we’re urging lawmakers to support are the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act (S 2125/HR 4011); the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S 1858/HR 3474); the Protecting our Students in Schools Act (S 2029/HR 3836); the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2021 (S 2410/HR 4402); and the Ending Pushout Act of 2021 (HR 2248). January 19, 2022
Joint letter by the National Coalition on School Diversity, IDRA and over 50 organizations and numerous individuals supporting the Strength in Diversity Act (HR 729), January 11, 2022
Joint letter by the National Coalition on School Diversity, IDRA and over 50 organizations and numerous individuals encouraging Congress to retain the Fostering Diverse Schools Program in the FY 2022 budget, January 11, 2022
Recommendations from the Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition (FedSDC) in Response to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Request for Information Regarding the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline, July 23, 2021
The Federal School Discipline and Climate Coalition’s (FedSDC) comments in response to OCR’s, Request for Information Regarding the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline — Docket ID ED–2021–OCR–0068, July 23, 2021
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
Policy Primer: Ensuring Education Equity During and After COVID-19, IDRA’s living document listing policies to preserve and promote educational equity
Influencing Agency and Court Actions
Letter with recommendations to ensure that the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX rules provide strong protections against sexual harassment, as well as other forms of sex discrimination, in schools. National Women’s Law Center, joined by 56 organizations including IDRA, March 15, 2022
Letter providing recommendations for the Civil Rights Data Collection, including general reporting procedures and demographic data elements, emergent bilingual (English learner) student data, and school discipline and policing, February 11, 2022
Letter urging the Office for Civil Rights to make changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) timing and survey instrument, sent by Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, IDRA and 28 other organizations, March 22, 2021
IDRA Lists Concerns with Proposed Amendments to Title IX Gender Equity Regulations – Comments on Title IX Regulations to the Department of Education, January 30, 2019
Civil Rights Data Collection Comment to the Department of Education, November 18, 2019
IDRA Amicus Brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, October 30, 2015
IDRA partners with the Teach the Truth coalition, which believes that students across the state of Texas deserve an accurate, honest and quality education that allows them to see themselves represented, to access truthful information and to learn from our past in order to build a better future for themselves and our country.
- Teaching Truth Webinar Series: Protecting and Advancing Culturally Responsive Curricula in Our Schools – coming soon
Joint letter supporting the confirmation of Miguel Cardona to be the next U.S. Secretary of Education, by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, IDRA and the 108 other organizations, March 1, 2021
Supreme Court Ruling Widens the Door to Use Public Funds for Vouchers and Religious Schools, Statement on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, July 1, 2020
Commentary: Not aiding DACA students merciless, by Celina Moreno, for the San Antonio Express-News, May 13, 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
How Should Schools Respond to ICE Raids? Some Advice, Corey Mitchell, Education Week, August 9, 2019
Protect college admission laws that reward merit, hard work [op ed], Celina Moreno, J.D., Texas Tribune, April 4, 2019