Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Concerns

Supplemental Services

The ESEA allows community based organizations (CBOs), including faith-based organizations, to receive federal funding for the provision of supplemental or after school programs. After lengthy negotiations, language was added to NCLB to protect both employees and beneficiaries of CBOs from discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex (except as otherwise provided under Title IX), national origin or disability.” PFAW supported the efforts to add this civil rights provision. PFAW has written the Administration urging them to administer the program in a manner consistent with the intent of this provision and will continue to work in coalition to prohibit any Administration attempts to circumvent these critical civil rights protections.

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Boy Scout Amendment

Provisions were added to NCLB to require schools to allow the Boy Scouts or any nationally recognized “patriotic societies” access to their facilities, regardless of their position on sexual orientation or any other factor. This language gives unique consideration to the Boy Scouts and other “patriotic societies” currently unavailable to other student-led groups. PFAW opposed this amendment and would support any effort in the 108th Congress to remove its provisions.

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School Prayer

Under a provision added to ESEA in the last Congress, as a condition of receiving federal funds, a local educational agency must certify in writing to the state educational agency that no policy of the local educational agency prevents, or denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools. PFAW opposed this provision and would support any effort in the 108th Congress for its removal.

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Hate Crime Prevention

NCLB added a provision to the ESEA allowing reauthorization of school programs that provide development of education and training for students, teachers and administrators designed to prevent and reduce the incidence of crimes and conflicts motivated by hate. PFAW supported the inclusion of this provision and will closely monitor to ensure its implementation.

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