WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights says in recent years there has been a concerning rise in reports of discrimination in schools. And they say they are unable to do their job properly because of a lack of funding.

“Children being told to go back from where they came from or hearing the words ‘build a wall’ being chanted around them,” said Liz King with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “Asian American children in schools experiencing harassment, bullying, discrimination.”

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights deals with those type of complaints and ensures schools aren’t excluding students with disabilities and are properly investigating sexual assault and harassment.

Civil Rights in My School

King said that from 2008 to 2019 there was a 187% increase in the number of complaints the Office for Civil Rights received.

“It’s responsible for providing data about every school, about issuing regulation to clarify what the law says and responding to complaints of discrimination,” she said.

That’s why 80 civil rights organizations sent a letter asking Congress to double the budget for the Office for Civil Rights to $260 million for the next fiscal year.

King said as the school system has grown and complaints increased, funding for the Office of Civil Rights has not grown proportionately.

“Students are experiencing discrimination because the Office for Civil Rights is not sufficiently equipped to protect them,” she said.

President Biden’s budget calls for a 10% increase for the Office of Civil Rights.