The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) recently filed a suit against the U.S. Department of Education over changes to the Education Department’s rules for civil right investigations.
In March 2018, the federal Department of Education amended the office for Civil Rights Case Processing Manual unilaterally. The changes include new provisions to mandatorily dismiss certain complaints and the elimination of complainants’ right to appeal OCR decisions. The recent investigatory rules of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education would prevent the filing of claims on behalf of students experiencing discrimination. These are considered by the Department as “bulk complaints”. The new rule indicates they “will be blocked from bringing multiple claims on behalf of their multiple constituents.”
The three civil rights groups indicate the new rule “violates the law and are arbitrary and capricious’ and violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) in developing this new rule which had no provision for public notice or comment.