ABOUT THE EDUCATION AND LAW PROJECT

The Education and Law Project seeks to improve and reform public education from pre-K to 12th grade through policy advocacy, community outreach and litigation. We are committed to ensuring that students who are minorities, have disabilities, come from low-income families, or are otherwise disadvantaged have access to high-quality education.

OUR GOALS

Secure the funding public schools need in order to provide a high-quality education to every child.

Ensure that all children in North Carolina have equal and fair access to public education.

Ensure parents have the information and access they need so they can be involved in their children’s educations.

Advocate for integrated schools that provide expanded opportunities and enhanced educational outcomes for all students.

LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY

School Funding: We work with legislators, policymakers and community leaders to secure adequate and equitable state funding for public schools, and we advocate for necessary increases in funding for effective programs that serve low-income, at-risk or underserved students. We also fight efforts to dismantle and privatize public education through the diversion of state funds for public schools to unproven, unregulated charter schools or to private schools through tax credits or vouchers. Read more about the state school voucher program at this link.

Responsible Charter School Policies: We strive to make sure state policies mandate that charter schools fulfill their original mission – to be centers of innovation that share their successes with all schools and to serve the most at-risk students.

Suspension and Expulsion Policies: We secured passage of a state law that put an end to the “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies that robbed many minority students of the opportunity to get an education. We continue to work with policymakers, school leaders and parents to make sure suspension and expulsion policies do not discriminate against minority students.

Programs for At-risk Students: We helped create and now work to expand and defend the state’s Personal Education Plan statute, which provides vital resources for struggling students.

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

School Diversity: We work with allies to fight efforts to resegregate public schools. For example, we participated with some of our partners in the filing of a Title VI Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education to end harmful resegregation of schools after the loss of Wake County’s nationally recognized diversity policy for school assignment.

Legal Representation to End Systemic Problems: We provide legal assistance to families that encounter barriers to accessing public schools or getting necessary supports for their students. This may include difficulty registering a student for school, refusal by a school to create or implement a Personal Education Plan, and other situations that put students at risk for failing. We also help families overcome language barriers at school, deal with possibly discriminatory charter-school admissions processes, and fight the discriminatory application of school discipline rules.

Education Workshops: We are available to speak on a wide variety of issues impacting public education, including students’ rights, suspension and expulsion policies, state and local education funding, and state legislation related to education. Contact The Education and Law Project to request a speaker at your school, church or community meeting.