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OCA is Disappointed with the Current Iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Bill

Wednesday, December 02, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Justin Trinidad
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2 December 2015

CONTACT: Nick Lee | Communications Associate

202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – is disappointed with the current iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also called the Student Success Act.

The current iteration of ESEA has failed to incorporate key civil rights priorities for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and LGBT communities, including data disaggregation and federal protections for safe schools. While the ESEA includes new programs and initiatives that seek to correct the stringent policies of No Child Left Behind, the lack of data disaggregation and protection of students from bullying and discrimination marks a significant step back from ensuring equal protection of the AAPI and LGBT communities.

“The AAPI community includes over 48 distinct ethnic groups and over 300 languages. Disaggregating AAPI data is vital to ensuring that all students are counted and their needs adequately assessed, so that they can have equitable access to the resources they need to receive an adequate education,” said Vicki Shu, OCA National Vice President of Public Affairs. “Equal educational opportunities create pathways to success for all which are essential for our nation’s economic future. Without data disaggregation in ESEA, the struggles and disparities within our community will remain invisible.”

“Asian American students can face greater levels of bullying and harassment because of their immigration status, traditions and customs, or language skills. Additionally, LGBT children represent some of the most vulnerable students to bullying and harassment in schools because of discrimination against their sexual orientation and gender identity. We are especially concerned when these two identities intersect with the well-being of Asian American LGBT students, who may face mistreatment for their race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, or gender-identity, all at once,” continued Shu. “The failure of ESEA to implement non-discrimination and anti-bullying measures withholds federal protection of all students. Without explicit, national legislation requiring this essential protection, we cannot ensure the safety of any students in our school system. As such, we cannot, in good conscience, support this legislation as it is a grave disservice to the AAPI community by failing to address these fundamental civil rights protections.”

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).

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