U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Office for Civil Rights Annual Report to Congress (1999)

The Office for Civil Rights Ensures Equity and Excellence

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is a law enforcement agency charged with enforcing federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age by recipients of federal financial assistance. These laws are:

These civil rights laws represent a national commitment to end discrimination in education programs. Since most educational institutions receive some type of federal financial assistance, these laws apply throughout the nation.

Coverage of these civil rights laws extends to:

Consequently, these civil rights laws protect large numbers of students attending, or applying to attend, our educational institutions. In certain situations, the laws also protect persons who are employed or seeking employment at educational institutions. Overall, these laws protect:

These laws and OCR's mission are in harmony with the mission of the U.S. Department of Education -- ensuring equal access to education and promoting educational excellence throughout the nation.

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