Annual Report to Congress FY 2005
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OTHER EFFORTS TO ENFORCE THE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS
OCR also pursues compliance by federal fund recipients by: promulgating regulations, as noted in earlier sections; developing policy guidance interpreting the laws and regulations; and broadly disseminating this information to educational institutions, parents, students, and members of the public. Effective civil rights enforcement in education requires that educational institutions understand the legal and regulatory requirements and that students, parents, educators, and other members of the public understand their rights. To meet these goals, OCR makes its guidance widely available through different media, including through the Internet, and updates and augments that guidance periodically to ensure OCR guidance reflects current developments in civil rights law and educational practice.
Equal Opportunity in Vocational Education
Under OCR's “Vocational Education Programs Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Handicap,” state vocational education agencies are responsible for conducting civil rights reviews and other compliance activities with their subrecipient schools and programs and reporting biennially to OCR about these activities. In FY 2005, OCR responded to more than 30 of these state agency reports. OCR provided suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness of agencies' compliance and enforcement activities and for improving student access to vocational education programs to ensure that no discrimination occurs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and disability. During the period covered by these reports, state agencies conducted more than 300 compliance reviews, 80 percent of which resulted in corrective action and improved opportunities for students.
Throughout the year, OCR provided technical assistance in response to questions from state agencies concerning their compliance determinations and remedies resulting from these reviews. In addition, OCR provided an annual four-day training conference to state agency coordinators of vocational education civil rights compliance activities. The training conference (offered at two locations on different dates) was designed to provide in-depth training on selected civil rights issues, as well as the procedures and techniques state agencies should use in conducting their civil rights compliance program and reporting to OCR.