Trump’s Move to Pull Obama-Era Diversity Guidance for Schools Angers Democrats

More than a month after the Trump administration withdrew guidance designed to encourage racial diversity in the nation’s public schools, Senate Democrats have rebuked the decision, saying it will lead to confusion in schools as well as at institutes of higher education and restrict opportunities for historically disadvantaged students.

In an Aug. 6 letter to the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, which formally revoked the Obama-era guidance in early July, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on Senate Judiciary Committee, also demanded to know how the decision to revoke the guidance was reached. The two senators also asked for a list of complaints of discrimination based on race and ethnicity filed against K-12 and postsecondary institutions with the Education Department’s office for civil rights since the start of 2016.

In their joint letter withdrawing the guidance, the Trump Education and Justice Departments told schools that the Obama administration’s guidance advocated for “policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution” and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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