National Review | Withdraw the Obama Administration’s ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter on School Discipline

 In Education Reform, In the News

Roger Clegg and Hans A. Von Spakovsky take a look at our letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos which urges her to scrap Obama-era suspension policy guidelines.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), which does great work, has written U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, urging her to withdraw an Obama-era “Dear Colleague” lettergiving school administrators “guidance” on how to comply with federal law when it comes to school discipline.

Threatening lawsuits if the administrators didn’t comply with the “guidance,” the 2014 letter coerced many school systems into adopting illegal racial quotas in their disciplinary decision-making.

The Obama letter utilized the “disparate impact” approach to civil-rights enforcement, whereby a policy that does not discriminate on its face, in its intent, or in its application is nonetheless deemed illegal if it has “disproportionate” statistical effects among different racial and ethnic groups.

A number of other organizations, including the Center for Equal Opportunity, joined on WILL’s letter to Secretary DeVos, which continues the steady drumbeat on this important issue from conservative groups. Here’s hoping that she withdraws the discipline letter soon, as she correctly did with similar letters by the Obama administration regarding sexual harassment on college campuses and transgender students in school bathrooms.

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