ProPublica, June 21, 2018
Annie Waldman


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[...] Outcomes on specific topics reflect this pattern. For instance, 70 percent of complaints of discrimination against students with limited proficiency in the English language were upheld under Obama, compared to 52 percent under the current administration. The proportion of complaints substantiated regarding the individualized educational needs of students with disabilities has dropped from 45 percent to 34 percent; regarding sexual harassment and violence, from 41 percent to 31 percent; and regarding racial harassment, from 31 percent to 21 percent.

These differences reflect the contrasting approaches of the Obama and Trump administrations to civil rights enforcement, according to people familiar with both. Under Obama, the Office for Civil Rights looked into instances of discrimination against individuals, but also made it a priority to carry out more time-consuming and systemic investigations into disparate treatment of students based on race, disability, or other factors.

On the other hand, efficiency is the Trump administration’s priority. It has restricted the time and scope of investigations, concentrating on individual complaints that can be handled quickly, and seeking to clear a backlog of more expansive cases. As a result, it has resolved about 3,250 cases that lasted more than six months, compared to about 1,150 during the last 15 months of the Obama administration. Because of this high volume, the raw number of cases concluded with findings of wrongdoing has increased under DeVos, although the percentage is considerably lower. [...]

disability regulation