U.S. / Politics

Biden Administration to Use Federal Civil Rights Office to Deter States From School Mask Bans

3 min read
The move escalates President Biden's fight with Republican governors who are blocking local school districts from imposing mask rules.
The nation's most vulnerable students, namely students with disabilities, low-income students and students of color, have suffered the deepest setbacks when districts pivoted to remote learning, and their disproportionate disengagement has long drawn concern from education leaders and civil rights watchdogs.

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, students are entitled to a free, appropriate public education, known as FAPE, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color and national origin.

The department could initiate its own investigations into districts, if state policies and actions rise to potential violations of students' civil rights. It could also review complaints from…
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Erica L. Green
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