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SPLC Action Fund: Demand transparency, accountability in Louisiana schools

The Louisiana House Education Committee today voted unanimously in favor of House Bill 160, which would require school districts in the state to collect data on school climate and school discipline.

The Louisiana School Data Compliance Act (HB 160) aims to ensure that Louisiana’s public schools are transparent in their student disciplinary practices and school policing programs.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights collects data from public schools to ensure that recipients of federal funding do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or disability. However, Louisiana school districts are not consistently meeting federal requirements because the state mandates limited data collection.

HB 160 would better align Louisiana law on school data collection with federal law. Without this data, it is impossible to measure the effectiveness of the state’s student disciplinary and school policing programs, assess school climate and evaluate whether schools are complying with federal anti-discrimination laws.

Comprehensive data collection and reporting would help school officials create and maintain safe and welcoming learning environments for all students. Publishing that data would inform the public on how our tax dollars are being spent.

HB 160 is essential for transparency and accountability in Louisiana’s public schools and for ensuring that all our children are being treated fairly.

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