The heads of the New York State Board of Regents and the State Education Department issued a joint statement Thursday, strongly criticizing the Trump administration for rolling back Obama-era federal guidance regarding affirmative action and diversity in schools.

Among the 24 documents rescinded earlier this week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a 2011 Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools. Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said the “abhor the Trump administration’s assault on policies that support positive environments for all children.”

They said the state, through implementation of programs like My Brothers’ Keeper and Every Student Succeeds Act plan, the state is working hard to achieve equity. They said studies have shown that diversity in classrooms and on campus benefit students of all races and ethnicities.

“In New York state, we must not let the federal government’s reprehensible action deter us in our work to integrate our classrooms,” they said. “It is time for our representatives in Washington to stop the president’s hurtful policies that intend to harm all students, particularly our underrepresented and economically disadvantaged populations. We ask our partners in education to join with us in condemning the administration’s latest heartless attack on our nation’s civil rights.”

The repealed documents were identified by the Department of Justice Regulatory Reform Task Force as items that were either unnecessary or improper rule-making. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, also issued a letter to the chairs of the SUNY and CUNY boards of trustees directing them to continue implementing the existing inclusion plans for higher education, as well as review the plans to make sure they’re effectively meeting the goals.