Civil Rights Data Collection Delayed to 2020-21 School Year; Comments on Changes Due August 6

July  2020

9. civil right data collection

On July 7, the Department of Education provided an update on the next Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and responded to comments received last year on proposed additions and eliminations of data required from schools and districts.

In documents supporting a Federal Register notice, the department announced that the next CRDC, which would have taken place during the 2019–20 school year, will happen during the 2020–21 school year. The shift addresses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on schools, districts, and states that have required attention to continue instruction since schools shifted to remote learning in March.

The department also responded to comments it received in the fall of 2019 regarding proposed changes to the CRDC. The proposed changes included the elimination of a number of indicators:

  • Some early childhood education data from LEAs, including data on whether preschool is provided to all students, students with disabilities, students in Title I programs, and students from low-income families
  • Disaggregated data on the number of students aged 3–5 enrolled in preschool by race, sex, English learner status, and disability classification under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • School finance data on expenditures
  • The number of first-year and second-year teachers
  • The number of teachers who are absent more than 10 school days per school year

AERA provided comments on several of these proposals during a 60-day comment period in fall 2019. In its comments AERA urged against removing these indicators from the CRDC, and recommended that the Office for Civil Rights in the Education Department work with the National Center for Education Statistics to incorporate aspects of the School-Level Finance Survey to retain school finance data in the CRDC. In its response to comments, the department highlighted AERA’s comments on how education researchers use CRDC data.

After reviewing the comments, the department has retracted its initial plan to eliminate the requirement to report preschool enrollment disaggregated by race, sex, English learner status, and disability classification under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The department still plans to retire data fields on school finance, teacher absenteeism, and the number of first- and second-year teachers in schools.

AERA members are encouraged to provide input. Comments are due on August 6 and can be submitted at