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US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of the General Counsel

Functional Statements > Office of the General Counsel

B. Program Service

The Program Service is under the direction of a Deputy General Counsel who reports The Program Service is under the direction of a Deputy General Counsel who reports directly to the General Counsel. The Deputy General Counsel supervises and coordinates the work of three Divisions, each of which is headed by an Assistant General Counsel:

Educational Equity and Research Division, and
Education Programs Division.

Educational Equity and Research Division

The Educational Equity and Research Division assists the General Counsel in providing legal assistance to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary in connection with the civil rights enforcement activities of the Department pertaining to race, national origin, sex, handicap, and age discrimination. The Division also provides legal assistance to Department officials in connection with the administration of equal educational opportunity programs, including those related to the provision of educational services to handicapped individuals under the Education of the Handicapped Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
The Division also provides legal services for research and information programs administered by the Director, Institute for Education Sciences.
In performing its responsibilities, the Division:

  • Provides services required by the Department in connection with civil rights court litigation, in close consultation with the Office for Civil Rights, including the development of litigation positions, preparation of documents for submission in court, and explanation of cases to the Department of Justice, and reviews of requests to the Department of Justice for United States participation as amicus curiae in civil rights litigation (This does not preclude the Inspector General from performing that officer's functions under Section 4(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978.).
  • Provides formal and informal legal advice to the Office of the Secretary, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Office of English Language Acquisition, Institute for Education Sciences, and--with respect to Title IV of the Civil Rights Act and the Women's Educational Equity Act Program and Magnet Schools Assistance Program--the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  • Drafts or reviews drafts of legislation, regulations, preambles, responses to public comment, and other supporting documents, and participates in public hearings necessary for the development of regulations for the Department.
  • With respect to equal educational opportunity programs, provides legal services required by the Department relating to the conduct of administrative proceedings (such as audit appeals and limitation, termination, and suspension proceedings), including presentation of cases before Administrative Law Judges, or other responsible presiding officers.

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Education Programs Division

The Education Programs Division provides legal services for elementary and secondary education programs (except educational equity programs) administered by the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, the Chapter I program for State institutions for handicapped children, and vocational and adult education programs administered by the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education.

In performing its responsibilities for these programs, the Division:

  • Provides formal and informal legal advice to various units in the Office of the Secretary, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, and other units within the Department.
  • Provides all legal services required by the Department relating to the preparation and defense of decisions in enforcement actions (such as audit, withholding, and cease and desist proceedings), including presentation of cases before administrative tribunals of the Department of Education, and, in particular, the Office of Administrative Law Judges.
  • In connection with court litigation, provides all services required by the Department, including working with the Department of Justice, preparation of documents for submission to the court, and development of litigation positions; with respect to certain types of cases such as those involving audit determinations, takes full responsibility for presentation of the case to the court (This does not preclude the Inspector General from performing that officer's functions under Section 4(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978.).
  • Drafts or reviews drafts of legislation, regulations, preambles, responses to public comment, and other supporting documents, and participates in public hearings necessary for the development of regulations for the Department.
  • Provides technical assistance to State and local grantees on legal matters arising from these programs.
  • Provides advice and serves as a special resource in the Department on matters dealing with assistance to private school children under Federal aid to education programs and the collection of claims arising from audits.

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Last Modified: 11/19/2010