Friday, December 9, 2016

Education Department civil rights officials urged to work through ‘tough times ahead’ - The Washington Post

Education Department civil rights officials urged to work through ‘tough times ahead’ - The Washington Post:

Education Department civil rights officials urged to work through ‘tough times ahead’
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A celebration of the Education Department’s civil rights work morphed into a pep rally Thursday to bolster federal workers and advocates who are expecting difficult years ahead under president-elect Donald Trump.
“We’ve got some tough times ahead, but we are up to it,” Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund and an education civil rights icon, told the audience at the department’s D.C. headquarters. “You might as well hunker down, do your crying at nights and on the weekends. We are not going backwards.”
Edelman — who is also a mentor of failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — thanked the career employees at the department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and asked them to stay in their jobs: “You’re more important than ever.”
Under President Obama, OCR has aggressively stepped up its investigation and enforcement efforts, handling a skyrocketing number of complaints even as the number of its staff has declined. The office also has issued guidance documents that have reshaped expectations for how K-12 schools and colleges handle sexual assault, deal with discipline and accommodate transgender students.
Civil rights advocates have cheered those efforts. But school districts, colleges and Republican lawmakers have accused the Obama administration of burdensome requirements and legal overreach, while Trump surrogates have suggested that OCR should be stripped of much of its authority. Trump could revise or reverse key guidance documents, or his administration could starve OCR’s budget, making it impossible to keep up with cases.Education Department civil rights officials urged to work through ‘tough times ahead’ - The Washington Post:


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