In an announcement on Friday, the Department of Education said that it plans and is currently withdrawing around 600 pieces of documents regarding guidance, which federal officials are saying have been “out of date”.
Many advocates say that this is an attempt to reverse protections for disabled and minority students.
“Each item has been either superseded by current law or is no longer in effect,” said officials from the Education Department in a recent press release. “Removing these out-of-date materials will make it easier for schools, educators, parents and the public to understand what guidance is still in effect.”
Last April, US President Donald Trump signed the executive order that directs the agency to define regions where federal governing sectors exceed its authority or overtook state and local schools’ abilities to make their own decisions when it comes to standardized testing and evaluations for teachers.
Specifically, this order gives Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, about 300 days for her conduction of studies to find out “where the Federal Government has unlawfully overstepped state and local control.”
That initiative resulted in multiple regulatory pauses that stirred controversy, such as matters elating to Title IX including sexual assault in campuses.
Announcement And Pushback
The announcement came at the same time that the department received pushback from the Democrats, groups advocating civil rights, and special ed. advocacy organizations since it stated that it will rescind exactly 72 documents which provide guidance regarding students that have disabilities who fall under the US Rehabilitation Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
“There can be no further question: Secretary DeVos is dead set on rolling back all the progress we’ve made for our children of color and students with disabilities,” said Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington. “If Secretary DeVos indeed moves forward with this action, she will be pushing IDEA’s promise of educational equity further out of reach, worsening the school to prison pipeline, and so much more – with students of all ages and backgrounds paying the price.”