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Anniversary of Brown v Board, The Battlefield of Special Ed, Republicans Politicize LGBTQ Protections

Anniversary of Brown v Board

Friday will mark the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling—which identified the "separate but equal" premise of racial segregation in public schools as unconstitutional. New research from The Civil Rights Project shows that the proportion of "intensely segregated" schools in the US has nearly tripled during the past thirty years. Connecticut ranks among the nation's most segregated states, according to the study: tenth worst for exposure of Black students to white students and thirteenth for exposure of Latino students to white students.

The Hill reports that President Biden is expected to deliver remarks at an NAACP event marking the court decision's anniversary. 

The Battlefield of Special Ed

On Sunday, Jessika Harkay from the CT Mirror gave voice to families struggling to be heard and supported in Planning and Placement Teams (PPTs)—interdisciplinary teams, including educators, parents, and guardians, that meet at least once a year to determine the individual needs of students with special needs or disabilities. Special education attorney Andrew Feinstein is quoted as describing "poisoned relationships between schools and parents''—which the article shows primarily result from power imbalances between parents and administrators, anxiety over meeting students' needs, disagreements over disability classifications, and incentives relating to the high costs of special education. WSHU also spoke with Harkay to discuss her article on the meetings between parents of students with disabilities and district leaders. 

It’s a painful story, but well worth the read and listen.

Republicans Politicize LGBTQ Protections

Last month, the US Department of Education released a revised Title IX regulation, which covers sex discrimination, by creating new protections for LGBTQ+ students and staff. The new rule adds coverage for discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, which, Education Week explains, is likely to lead to a greater number of Title IX complaints within school districts. 

Republican-led states are already launching legal challenges, in some cases, even advising education officials to ignore the new regulation while their lawsuits play out. NBC News reports that at least 22 Attorneys General from Republican-led states have already brought suit. A story in The Hill notes that Donald Trump has vowed to reverse the regulation “on day one” if reelected as President in November.

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