WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R.2574, the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA), which would restore the right of students and parents to hold schools accountable for discrimination in education, and H.R. 2639, the Strength in Diversity Act, which would support local communities in their efforts to desegregate public schools.

“Public schools are more segregated today than at any time since the 1960s, and our nation’s education system faces widening achievement gaps. Today, the House passed the first bills to address school segregation in roughly three decades which would take meaningful steps toward providing equal educational opportunities for all students and would enable individuals to seek redress when schools engage in discriminatory actions.

“The Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act would restore the rights of victims of educational discrimination, enabling the public to argue for equal protection and opportunity under the law.  I'm also proud to support the Strength in Diversity Act which would help provide students in every school with the same opportunities as those in our best schools. Recent studies have found an alarming trend of socioeconomic and racial segregation amongst K-12 schools. School districts that are willing to take on the challenge of reversing this harmful trend would have access to federal funds to support those efforts. This bill will offer critical federal resources to bolster innovative strategies to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity, helping fulfill the promise of equity in education.”