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OCR Carries Out Compliance Reviews

In addition to resolving individual complaints, OCR often initiates cases, called “compliance reviews,” so that it may target resources to compliance problems that are particularly acute, national in scope, or newly emerging.

Targeted compliance reviews maximize the impact of OCR’s resources and balance the enforcement program. Compliance reviews ensure the protection of the civil rights of vulnerable groups, such as non-English speaking individuals or the very poor, who may be less aware of the laws. OCR’s experience also shows that careful targeting of compliance reviews nearly always results in recipients making policy or program changes that benefit large numbers of students. In contrast, the resolution of an individual complaint often benefits only the complaining party.

OCR selects compliance reviews based in part on various sources of information, including survey data and information provided by complainants, education groups, media, and the general public. OCR has conducted compliance reviews on such issues as:

  • minority students in special education and low-track courses;
  • English language learners' access to alternative language services to benefit from school districts' educational programs;
  • free appropriate public education for students with disabilities;
  • minority students' access to gifted and talented and other advanced placement courses;
  • racial harassment; and
  • sexually hostile environments.

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Last Modified: 01/10/2020