Press Release ● Education
For Immediate Release: 
May 17, 2018
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-4131
WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) for a press conference on the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. At the press conference, Members announced the introduction of a resolution to affirm support for enforcement of Title VI under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in U.S. schools. Below is a transcript of his remarks:

“Thank you, Congressman Scott, not only for leading this along with Ranking Member, and soon to be Chairman, Nadler of the Judiciary Committee, but also thank you for your leadership on behalf of civil rights and human rights over your entire career.  We appreciate that. 
 
“I’m glad to be here as well with the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Judy Chu, and with my dear friend, Jim Clyburn, who himself, during that period of time, was a leader in the civil rights efforts in this country.

“I come from Maryland. So what? Thurgood Marshall came from Maryland. He was one of the great jurists of our time, one of the great advocates of our time, one of the great fighters for civil rights of our time.  There hangs in my office, if you come into my office in my reception room, seven pictures.  Three of them are Harriet Tubman, born on the Eastern Shore a slave; Frederick Douglass, born on the Eastern Shore of my state as a slave; and Thurgood Marshall, born in Baltimore.  All extraordinary giants in the effort to ensure that the creed that we pronounce in our Declaration of Independence would be recognized in reality, not just in rhetoric. 

"So I thank Member Scott, Mr. Nadler, Leader Pelosi, Mr. Clyburn, and Ms. Chu for their leadership, and I am proud to cosponsor this resolution. 

“Sixty-four years after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, a recent GAO report shows that America’s K-12 schools continue to struggle with segregation and deep disparities in the treatment of minority students.  That is unacceptable in our country, and we ought to be on the offensive to overcome those disparities. 
 
“Sadly, there has been a sound of retreat from the Department of Education. This is something that Congress and the Administration should be working together to address – not opposing one another.  The Trump Administration is unfortunately taking us in the opposite direction. 
 
“Under the Secretary of Education’s leadership at the U.S. Department of Education, the Administration is not only abdicating its responsibility to address these disparities, but are actively taking steps to undo the civil rights protections that have been put into place to make the educational system more equal, more advantageous, to each of our children. 

“We had another Republican president who intoned a policy of ‘Leave No Child Behind,’ and while that bill was controversial, the sentiment of assuring that every child had the advantage of a good education and the advantage of being treated equally, was a principle that we all supported, which is why that bill passed so overwhelmingly.

“Democrats strongly oppose the efforts that are being made today, and we will continue to work to ensure equality and opportunity for all Americans including our students. 
 
“That picture of Frederick Douglass that hangs there in my office reminds me of his quote, when he said that not educating our children was costly.  He said that it was ‘easier to build strong children than it is to repair broken men.’ Frederick Douglass, how right he was.  How much cost there will be to our society if we do not ensure that every child, every child in our school system does not get the benefit of a good education, an equal education, and not an equally bad education, but an equally good education?

“I thank Ranking Members Scott and Nadler for their leadership on this issue and their work to stop the school-to-prison pipeline and to ensure that all students have the opportunities and support they need to be successful."