April 6, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 22, 2016) — The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center commends U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA-17), along with the Tri-Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus leadership, for introducing a constitutional amendment that would make a quality education a civil right.

Honda stated, “This constitutional amendment would give Congress more authority to address the rampant educational inequities between states, especially in the area of resource inequity-a topic not resolved by the Supreme Court’s Brown v Board of Education.” Access to a quality education is a pathway from poverty to prosperity, particularly for students impacted by racial discrimination, limited English language proficiency, and disability. Strengthening constitutional protections would help ensure that states invest adequate resources and supports to meet the educational challenges faced by Southeast Asian American students and students from other marginalized communities.

SEARAC Executive Director Quyen Dinh noted, “The need for a high quality education is universally recognized across communities within America — refugees, immigrants, New Americans, and those who have been here for generations — regardless of socio-economic status and race. It is time that a quality education becomes officially recognized as a civil right, and it is especially important for the Southeast Asian American community. Our community members’ unique needs within our public schools are not always understood nor addressed appropriately, whether due to a lack of data on our communities, cultural competency, or understanding how to serve our communities to their full potential.”

SEARAC applauds Congressman Honda, the Tri-Caucus, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their strong leadership last Thursday for moving the needle forward on civil rights protections in education. Enhancing constitutional protections helps ensure all vulnerable children have access to an education that prepares them to succeed in college, a career, and beyond.

SEARAC is a national organization that advances the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans by empowering communities through advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building to create a socially just and equitable society. Find out more at www.searac.org.

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