In a letter with The Center for Civil Rights Remedies of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, The Open Society Policy Center, the National Disability Rights Network and other colleagues, COPAA strongly endorses the efforts of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to continue and to expand the collection of this vital information from schools and districts across the nation. This Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) is essential to the public’s understanding of the condition of education in the U.S. We have relied on the CRDC data extensively in writing our national reports, describing the school-to-prison pipeline, developing and implementing interventions to address and reduce disparities, for filing complaints against individual school districts and raising awareness at the local, state and federal level. We fully support the CRDC data collection. We believe this data is essential to ensure the protection of vulnerable children and youth. For this reason, we recommend that the data be reported annually, that CRDC report the data to the public as quickly as possible, and that ED enforce timely and accurate reporting of the data by states, districts and schools. Recommended increased date for discipline data among the priorities.COPAA also joined The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in submitting comments urging the CRDC to be revised to require that public school districts, also known as local education agencies (LEAs), report on the restraint and seclusion experienced by students with disabilities who are placed by the districts into segregated nonpublic schools.
This is data that public school districts already receive and maintain, or can access readily, however currently the scope of the CRDC fails to encompass a substantial proportion of the restraint and seclusion being experienced by public school district students with disabilities.