National Disability Rights Network Response to Education Department Proposal on Funding High-Poverty Schools

For Immediate Release             
9/7/2016                        

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
press@ndrn.org

WASHINGTON – Curt Decker, Executive Director of the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) issued the following statement concerning the Department of Education’s draft regulation under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) governing how schools can distribute federal education funds provided to serve low-income students.

“This spring NDRN, along with 29 partner civil rights groups, urged the Department of Education to issue strong regulations implementing the ESSA to ensure that states and districts were not shortchanging low-income students.

“States and districts routinely spend less money to educate children facing the greatest challenges, and the pervasive and historic nature of this problem does not lend itself to easy solutions. This is an old fight with a new urgency, given that students of color and low-income students, many of whom are also students with disabilities, now make up majorities of public school students.

“But the politics of education require compromise, and the draft rule proposed on August 31, 2016 is a step in the right direction. This rule doesn't solve this massive problem—no single rule could—but it brings us closer to a more just education system. The additional $2 billion that the Department projects will flow toward improving schools for low-income students is desperately needed.

“NDRN looks forward to working with our colleagues in the civil rights community to offer formal comments on this draft rule and to working with the Department of Education, the White House, and other stakeholders to ensure that the final rule makes even greater progress for students.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.