Proposed Regulation Aims To Ensure More Fair Funding of Public Schools Nationwide

September 1, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC - MALDEF supports the U.S. Department of Education's proposed regulation on school funding, released yesterday. The regulation would implement a school finance provision known as "supplement not supplant" in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, reauthorized in December 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

"One bedrock condition of states receiving federal funds for education is to ensure that those dollars are not laundered to support continued inequality in public schools," stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. "The Department proposed regulation makes clear that it takes seriously its obligation to support greater equity in public school educational opportunity."

The provision in ESSA requires that federal funds from the nation's largest K-12 education law be used in addition to state and local funds, and may not be used to replace those funds in supporting the targeted students. The Department's proposed regulations require that states have a plan to comply by the 2019-2020 school year, and offers states three different ways to prove that they are complying with the law.

"Since it was first passed in 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been a law whose purpose is to ensure all children, regardless of background or zip code, have equal access to educational resources" stated MALDEF Legislative Staff Attorney Adam Fernandez. "While no law or regulation is perfect, MALDEF welcomes the Department's effort to implement this important provision of the law."

MALDEF will submit comments to the Department, supporting the proposed regulation and recommending improvements, during the official public comment window.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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