This week, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) voted on H.R. 2574, the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act, a bill she cosponsored, which will create a private right of action to file “disparate impact” claims. These claims refer to practices and policies which may not involve intentional discrimination, but lead to disproportionate negative effects on certain racial groups.
“The Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act will secure the right of students, parents, and communities to address racial inequities in public education under the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” said Congresswoman Hayes.
“Under the Civil Rights Act, individuals had the right to challenge discriminatory public-school policies if those practices disproportionally hurt marginalized students based on race, color, or national origin. In 2001, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Alexander v. Sandoval struck down the right of individuals to challenge such policies or practices under Title VI of the law. The decision barred victims of civil rights violations from pursuing justice against entities who were federally funded but engaged in practices that disparately impacted certain racial groups. The victims of discrimination now must wait for the Department of Education to act.
“I will continue to fight for effective school desegregation and the right for people impacted by discriminatory policies to have their day in court. This legislation is an opportunity to finally deliver on the promise of Brown v. Board of Education.”
About the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA):
The Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA) takes steps to hold federally funded programs, including schools, accountable for their responsibility to provide all students with equal opportunity for a quality education.
- Restores the private right of action for students and parents to bring disparate impact claims under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
- Creates Title VI monitors to ensure that every school district and institution of higher education has at least one employee to specifically responsible for investigating any complaints of discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.
- Creates an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education to coordinate and promote Title VI enforcement in education.
Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years
and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.
Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.