On September 15, 2011, OCR resolved a complaint against the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Ohio. The complaint alleged that the District failed to provide limited-English proficient national origin minority (LEP) parents of District students with information concerning activities and other school-related matters in a language that they could understand, in violation of Title VI. The complaint also alleged the District failed to provide information to the LEP parents of a student related to his proposed expulsion in a language that they could understand, in violation of Title VI. Under Title VI, the District has an obligation to ensure “meaningful access” to its programs and activities to LEP parents. Specifically, under Title VI, the District has an obligation to “adequately notify” national origin-minority group parents of school programs and activities that are called to the attention of other parents. Prior to completion of the investigation of the complaint allegations, the District agreed to enter into a voluntary resolution agreement. The agreement requires the District to develop and implement a written plan to provide language assistance to LEP parents. The plan will include processes for: notifying LEP parents, in a language that the parents will understand, of the availability of free language assistance with respect to school programs and activities; identifying LEP parents who may need language assistance; ensuring that each school building has a centralized list of LEP parents identified as needing language assistance services; ensuring that the central administration maintains a District-wide list of LEP parents; ensuring that, when the children of LEP parents transfer from one building to another within the District, information regarding the language assistance needs of the parents is transferred to the building to which their children transfer; ensure that District staff that are likely to interact with an identified LEP parent are advised of the parent’s potential need for language assistance; ensuring that District staff may obtain in a timely manner appropriate, qualified translators or interpreters; and ensuring that vital written documents are translated into the language of each frequently-encountered LEP parent group eligible to be served and/or likely to be affected by the District’s program or activities. OCR is actively monitoring implementation of the resolution agreement.
Read the Resolution Letter PDF (59K) | Read the Resolution Agreement PDF (142K)