The U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced in a letter to school superintendents that it will administer a 2021-22 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), marking the first time that OCR has conducted a CRDC, including all public school districts and their schools, two years in a row, for 2020-21 and 2021-22.

The additional collection will help advance equity at a time when the nation’s educational landscape has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and schools are receiving substantial new federal funding to address new and longstanding challenges. Data from the CRDC will inform ongoing decisions regarding additional support that schools, educators, and students need to succeed, and will also assist OCR in meeting its mission to ensure schools and districts are complying with civil rights laws.

“Without timely and robust data about students’ educational experiences, we cannot begin to understand and then address the impact that the pandemic has had – and continues to have – on student learning and success,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “We know that by working together, and by making this data available to educators and the public, we will improve educational opportunities and outcomes for our children and youth.”

The CRDC gathers and publishes key information about student access to educational courses as well as school climate factors, such as use of discipline and student experiences of harassment and assault, from nearly every public school serving students from pre-K through 12th grade in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

This announcement ensures that the Department and the public will have the data necessary to better understand the experiences of students as the country continues to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19, especially after the pandemic-related postponement of the 2019-20 CRDC. Recognizing the critical work of school administrators, teachers, specialists, and support staff in ensuring that all students have equal access to education, the USDE will continue to provide robust resources to support state educational agencies, districts, and schools in preparing for and completing the ongoing 2020-21 collection, as well as the collection for the 2021–22 school year.

To view the USDE press release, click here.