WASHINGTON—A group of Heritage Foundation experts recently submitted an official comment in the Federal Register warning that a new Department of Education announcement could lead to reimplementing dangerous school safety and student discipline guidelines. Jonathan Butcher, Will Skillman fellow in education, Sarah Parshall Perry, legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center, Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at Heritage, and Mike Gonzalez, senior fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, offered the following statement:
“Crafting education policy on the foundation of racial differences is never the right answer. Unfortunately, this announcement invokes the 2014 ‘Dear Colleague’ letter from the Department of Education and Department of Justice to K-12 public schools that resulted in schools maintaining quotas of students disciplined according to race.
“That federal policy micromanaged local school discipline matters, discriminated against students based on their race, and unlawfully expanded the federal government’s authority in local education. The federal government should not recommend that school officials use a disparate impact standard in local school discipline matters. These policies lead to disciplining students based on race ratios rather than behavioral actions by individuals.
“Previous use of the disparate impact standard didn’t protect children or school staff because these policies allowed for disruptive and even dangerous students to remain in classrooms.”
Read their public comment here.