U.S. Education Law and its Human Rights Impact on Racial Minorities
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
This one day conference will address the issue of mandatory education in a U.S. public education system which does not guarantee equal education for all, but merely equal access. The first panel will provide an overview of the Supreme Court decisions that set up the equal access to education standard, rather than guaranteeing all children in the U.S. an education of equal quality. In addition, this panel will discuss the various funding schemes across the nation, their impact on low-income and predominantly minority communities, and the effects that the No Child Left Behind Act has on the disparities created by various funding schemes. The second panel will discuss whether U.S. education policies violate International Human Rights Law. The panel will discuss the 2001 concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which recommends that the U.S. address disparities found in the enjoyment of equal opportunities for education. The panel will also address the varying definitions of the discriminatory intent rule in U.S. and international law. The third panel will discuss the quality of education for immigrant communities, including issues such as the legal implications of educating undocumented immigrants, English language proficiency and language diversity among immigrant students, and the legal obligation of schools to accommodate non-English speaking students. The last panel will be a District of Columbia Case Study that will feature "Stories from the Street." The format of the session will be a town hall meeting and the panel will comprise principals, education advocacy groups, and school board officials relaying their own experiences in the public education system.
Sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and the Latino/a Law Students Association