Note

Old Dog, New Tricks: Title VI and Teacher Equity

Old Dog, New Tricks: Title VI and Teacher Equity

Noah B. Lindell

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Teacher quality has become a central aspect of education “policy” statutes. Yet federal policymaking has not succeeded in improving America’s teacher quality crisis. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which is over half a century old, and which is primarily understood as an antidiscrimination provision—may offer a solution to this problem. Title VI forbids racial discrimination in the provision of resources in federally funded programs. The U.S. Department of Education has recently made clear that teacher quality is, in fact, a resource covered by Title VI. This Note argues that Title VI complaints, investigations, and lawsuits can encourage (or force) districts to pursue policies that are designed to provide minority students with better teachers. It explains the mechanics of Title VI and illustrates how Title VI investigations might play out in the teaching context. It also discusses and resolves a number of doctrinal and policy concerns that this new use of Title VI could generate.

Legal Fellow, Campaign Legal Center; Yale Law School, J.D. 2016; Yale College, B.A. 2012. Thanks to the attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice, Educational Opportunities Section for answering my questions and engaging with me on the topic of this Note. Thanks, also, to the editors of the Yale Law & Policy Review—especially Christina Ford and Danielle Feuer—for their valuable edits and suggestions.

Cite this article:

Noah B. Lindell

, Note, 

Old Dog, New Tricks: Title VI and Teacher Equity

, 35 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. 189 (2016).