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U.S. Department of Education
Arne Duncan

Office for Civil Rights
Russlynn Ali
Assistant Secretary

Revised January 2011


Impact of the Civil Rights Laws

Enforcement of the federal civil rights laws has helped bring about profound changes in American education and improved the educational opportunities of millions of students. Many barriers that once prevented individuals from freely choosing educational opportunities and careers have been removed. Many school systems are now making it possible for students who are not proficient in English to participate effectively in their educational programs. Many more students with disabilities are now able, with the provision of supplementary aids and services, to participate in regular education classes.

The civil rights laws have opened the doors to our schools, classrooms, auditoriums, athletic fields, and arenas. In response, people from the many diverse backgrounds that represent today’s America are coming through these doors, on the way to becoming our future leaders in business, government, science, the arts, and education. The civil rights laws ensure that the doors remain open to all.

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Last Modified: 04/03/2023