House passes bill to allow civil lawsuits against schools that ‘discriminate’

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The House Wednesday passed legislation that would allow private parties to file lawsuits under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, claiming local school policies discriminated against students of color regardless of their explicit intent.

The Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act, authored by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat, would establish “monitors” to guarantee that schools uphold the law and investigate discrimination claims. The legislation would also create a new position at the Department of Education to oversee enforcement of these issues.

“So, for instance, if you have a school that has incredibly harsh penalties for being tardy to school, but it turns out that the people who end up being tardy are the African American children or the children of color who live far away from the schools who have to be transported over a long distance,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, explained to the Washington Examiner. “I think that type of policy has to be re-examined under Title VI — at least under this disparate impact analysis.”