Nominee for Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights Refuses to Protect Civil Rights

Whether Kenneth Marcus knows it or not, the position he would take on must enforce all civil rights protections and advocate for kids and families no matter their immigration status.

By Rebeca Shackleford, Education Policy Analyst, UnidosUS

Kenneth Marcus

Kenneth Marcus/YouTube

Next week, the Senate will vote to confirm the next assistant secretary for the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education. The high-level position focuses on protecting each child’s civil rights in our nation’s public schools.

But during his nomination hearing on Tuesday, nominee Kenneth Marcus wouldn’t commit to protecting undocumented children.

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On the Betsy DeVos Nomination: We Oppose

Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos. Photo: betsydevos.com

Yesterday NCLR sent a letter to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray opposing the nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education.

One in four children in U.S. schools are Latino, and that number will only rise. It is critical that their needs are addressed by the U.S. Department of Education, but for this to occur, the nominee for secretary of education must be committed to upholding civil rights. However, during her hearing, DeVos was only asked one question about civil rights, related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and expressed unfamiliarity with the law. Due to the limited questioning, it is uncertain that she would protect the civil rights of minority children.

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