Norton Introduces Bill to Address Implicit Bias in Schools

Oct 28, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced she has introduced the Combating Implicit Bias in Education Act, which would create a $30 million grant program for schools to train teachers, principals and other personnel on implicit bias.  Norton says the program would cover both actual or perceived race, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.  This year, a report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found that students of color with disabilities received far more severe and frequent punishment than their white counterparts.  In December, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos eliminated the Obama Administration’s guidance seeking to curb exclusionary discipline, undermining key steps toward dismantling discriminatory disciplinary practices in classrooms.

“Study after study confirms that the effects of implicit bias can be seen in school discipline and academic achievement,” Norton said.  “My bill would give school districts the right tools to address this bias and help implement corrective feedback.  Every student deserves the opportunity and support to succeed in class, and my bill will help correct these harmful biases.”

Under Norton’s bill, the Institute of Education Sciences under the Department of Education would be tasked with evaluating and reporting on the effectiveness of the training.