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The News page is home to new or revised publications released by OCR, as well as any recent items of interest, such as press releases and fact sheets.

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U.S. Education Department Reaches Agreement with Wittenberg University Concerning Title IX Violations

 


March 24, 2017

Protecting Students: Sex DiscriminationThe U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, after finding that the university’s handling of complaints arising from reports of sexual assault violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

The Title IX probe was based on two complaints filed in July 2011 and April 2013, alleging that the university failed to respond promptly and equitably to reports that the students had been sexually assaulted. (Read More).

  • Read the Press Release
  • Read the Resolution Letter
    Wittenberg University (OH) (15112115) PDF (181.6K)
    Wittenberg University (OH) (15132141) PDF (181.6K)
  • Read the Resolution Agreement
    Wittenberg University (OH) (15112115) PDF (71.54K)
    Wittenberg University (OH) (15132141) PDF (71.54K)

 

 

U.S. Education Department Reaches Agreement with Palo Alto Unified School District to Ensure Prompt, Equitable Responses to Reports of Violations of Title IX

March 9, 2017

Protecting Students: Sex DiscriminationThe U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reached an agreement with the Palo Alto Unified School District in Palo Alto, California after finding that the district’s handling of complaints violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

During OCR’s June 2013 proactive investigation of the district’s handling of Title IX complaints, OCR received a complaint in March 2014 alleging that the district failed to respond promptly and equitably to reports that students were subjected to sexual harassment. OCR’s investigation included reviewing the policies and procedures utilized by the district, reviewing investigative and discipline files provided by the district, conducting on-site visits, and interviewing district staff (Read More).

  • Read the Press Release
  • Read the Resolution Letter
    Palo Alto Unified School District (CA) (09141217) PDF (356.10K)
    Palo Alto Unified School District (CA) (09135901) PDF (356.10K)
  • Read the Resolution Agreement
    Palo Alto Unified School District (CA) (09141217) PDF (89.88K)
    Palo Alto Unified School District (CA) (09135901) PDF (89.88K)

Office for Civil Rights Releases Resources for Educators on Title VI and Religion

 

January 17, 2017

Protecting Students: Disability Discrimination The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today released a package of documents to assist schools, colleges, universities, educators, and students understand how Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, enforced by OCR, protects students of any religion from discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, or national origin, including discrimination based on a student’s actual or perceived:

  • shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, or
  • citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity.

The package includes a Know Your Rights document on when discrimination involving students who are or are perceived to belong to a religious group may be discrimination that is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act; a fact sheet on combatting discrimination against Jewish students; a fact sheet on combatting discrimination against AANHPI/MASSA students; and a Dear Colleague Letter on Title VI and Title IX and Religious Discrimination.

Office for Civil Rights Releases Guidance about the Rights of Students with Disabilities in Public Charter Schools

December 28, 2016

Protecting Students: Disability Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) jointly issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) and separate question and answer guidance documents to help educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders better understand the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In addition, OCR and OSERS jointly issued a fact sheet that provides a brief overview of the guidance.

  • Read the Press Release
  • "Dear Colleague" letter PDF (107.78K)
  • OSERS Frequently Asked Questions PDF (561.96K)
  • OCR Frequently Asked Questions PDF (593.96K)
  • Fact Sheet PDF (91.72K)

Past Stories

Date  

Title of Document

2016
 

December 2016

 

Office for Civil Rights Releases Guidance on the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued legal guidance to school districts as to how the use of restraint or seclusion can result in discrimination against students with disabilities, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In addition, the Department also released a “Fast Facts” document that provides a brief overview of the guidance.


December 2016

 

Office for Civil Rights Releases a Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued a resource guide to help parents and the public elementary and secondary school community  understand student rights and school district responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), a Federal civil rights law that prohibits disability discrimination.


December 2016

 

Elmira College Reaches Agreement with U.S. Education Department to Address Title IX Violations Regarding Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reached an agreement with Elmira College in Elmira, New York, after finding that the college violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by failing to promptly and equitably respond to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

“Elmira College has demonstrated a strong commitment to address and prevent sexual harassment and violence among students, staff and the college community,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights. “I thank Elmira and its leadership for their commitment to work with OCR to implement this agreement, and to ensure student safety.”


December 2016

 

Office for Civil Rights Releases Guidance on the Prevention of Racial Discrimination in Special Education

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance addressing the interplay of the Title VI prohibition against discrimination on the basis of race/color/national origin in the administration of special education in public schools.


December 2016

 

Civil Rights Reports Spotlight Eight Years of Accomplishments, Lingering Challenges

 

The U.S. Department of Education released two reports today that spotlight the challenges and achievements of the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in protecting students’ civil rights during an event with U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon.

  • Read the Press Release
  • Securing Equal Education Opportunity (FY16 Report) PDF (4.19K)
  • Achieving Simple Justice (2009-16 Report) PDF (13.84K)

November 2016

 

Connecticut’s East Hartford Public Schools’ Enrollment, Registration Methods Found in Violation of Civil Rights

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reached an agreement with Connecticut’s East Hartford Public Schools after finding that the district violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to provide adequate language services to limited English proficient (LEP) parents and guardians and by unlawfully imposing barriers to enrollment and applying additional registration and enrollment criteria to students based on national origin.


November 2016

 

Yonkers (N.Y.) Public Schools Commit to Addressing Problems Serving Students with Disabilities

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into a resolution agreement with the Yonkers (N.Y.) Public Schools to address address problems concerning appropriate access to general education instruction for the district’s more than 4,000 students with disabilities.


October 2016

 

CUNY, Hunter College Reach Agreement with U.S. Education Department to Address Title IX Violations on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reached an agreement with the City University of New York (CUNY) and its Hunter College after finding that the college violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by failing to promptly and equitably respond to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence.


October 2016

 

Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct Had Title IX Rights Violated by Wesley College, Says U.S. Department of Education

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reached an agreement with Wesley College in Dover, Delaware after finding the college in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as it applies to sexual violence and sexual harassment. OCR determined that students accused of sexual misconduct had their Title IX rights violated by Wesley in the course of its investigation of the case.


September 2016

 

Questions and Answers about the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

 

This “Questions and Answers” entry provides information about the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2016 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II), and reiterates the continued support of the Departments of Education and Justice for the voluntary use of race and ethnicity to achieve diversity in education.

  • Questions and Answers PDF (116.63K)

August 2016

 

Maryland’s Frostburg State University Found in Violation of Title IX, Reaches Agreement with U.S. Education Department to Address, Prevent Sexual Assault and Harassment

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into an agreement with Frostburg State University of the University System of Maryland to ensure compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as it applies to sexual violence and sexual harassment. The action follows an OCR investigation which found Frostburg to be in violation of Title IX.

 


August 2016

 

U.S. Education Department Reaches Settlement with Lodi Unified School District in California

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced today that the Lodi Unified School District in Lodi, California, has entered into a resolution agreement to end the racially discriminatory impact of the district’s discipline policies and address concerns that it disciplines African-American students more harshly than white students.


August 2016

 

San Bernardino County, U.S. Education Department Agree to Ensure that Students with Disabilities in Alternative and Juvenile Court Schools Receive Free, Appropriate Education

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into a resolution agreement with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools in California to address compliance issues involving students with disabilities in alternative and juvenile court schools.

An OCR investigation found that the county discriminated against students with disabilities in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Read more).


July 2016

 

Office for Civil Rights Releases ADHD Guidance

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).  The guidance—in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter and accompanying Resource Guide—provides a broad overview of Section 504 and school districts’ obligations to students with ADHD, including appropriately evaluating and providing services to such students, and ensuring due process. In addition, the Department also released a Know Your Rights document that provides a brief overview of the guidance.


July 2016

 

OCR Web Updates on Religious Discrimination

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today unveiled a new webpage about religious discrimination and an updated online complaint form to make clearer when OCR can investigate complaints of discrimination involving religion. Both aim to ensure that students of all religious backgrounds receive the full protection of the Federal civil rights laws that OCR enforces. 


July 2016

 

U.S. Education Department Settles Sexual Assault Case with Minot State University, N.D.

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced today that it has entered into a resolution agreement with Minot State University, North Dakota, after finding the university in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.


July 2016

 

Virginia's Hampton City Schools, U.S. Education Department Settle Case of Retaliation Against Mom Who Advocated for Daughter

 

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced today that it has entered into a resolution agreement with the Hampton, Virginia, City Schools after finding the division in violation of the civil rights laws enforced by OCR that prohibit retaliation for opposing discriminatory practices or for participating in OCR's complaint resolution process.


June 2016

 

Settlements Reached in Seven States, One Territory to Ensure Website Accessibility for People with Disabilities

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today announced that it has reached settlements with education organizations in seven states and one territory to ensure website accessibility for people with disabilities.


June 2016

 

Office for Civil Rights Reaches Settlement With Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina Over Transgender Discrimination

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced today that it has entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina, after finding the district in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for discriminating against a transgender elementary school student. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects all students from sex-based discrimination.


June 2016

 

Guidance on Gender Equity in Career and Technical Education

 

The Dear Colleague Letter from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education explains that all students, regardless of their sex, must have equal access to the full range of career and technical education (CTE) programs offered. The Dear Colleague Letter includes an overview of the legal requirements most relevant to ensuring gender equity in CTE programs and provides examples of ways schools can prevent or remedy inequity.


June 2016

 

Occidental College, U.S. Education Department Reach Agreement to Ensure Prompt, Equitable Responses to Reports of Sexual Harassment, Violence

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reached an agreement with Occidental College in Los Angeles to resolve a sexual violence and sexual harassment complaint investigation.


June 2016

 

Persistent Disparities Found Through Comprehensive Civil Rights Survey Underscore Need for Continued Focus on Equity, King Says

 

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) todayunveiled new data from the 2013-2014 school year showing gaps that still remain too wide in key areas affecting educational equity and opportunity for students, including incidents of discipline, restraint and seclusion, access to courses and programs that lead to college and career readiness, teacher equity, rates of retention, and access to early learning. U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. said that, despite significant work from districts across the country, the persistent disparities shown in the Civil Rights Data Collection – which collected data from all public schools and school districts nationwide for the 2013-14 school year – highlight the need for a continued focus on educational equity, especially in the implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act.


June 2016

 

U.S. Department of Education Release Joint Fact Sheet about Combating Discrimination against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) Students

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Educational Opportunities Section, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders issued a fact sheet that includes examples of forms of discrimination that members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) communities commonly face.

  • The fact sheet in English PDF (239.2K) and in other languages about combating discrimination against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) students.

May 2016

 

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release Joint Guidance to Help Schools Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students

 

The "Dear Colleague" Letter from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice summarizes a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students and explains how the Departments evaluate a school’s compliance with these obligations. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a companion document, Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students, which summarizes key components of policies on transgender students from school districts and state education agencies across the country. The "Dear Colleague" Letter and Emerging Practices are available on the Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students Resources page.

  • Read the Press Release

  • "Dear Colleague" letter PDF (717.33K)

  • Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students PDF (636.35K)


May 2016

 

U.S. Department of Education Releases Report on Office for Civil Rights to Ensure Educational Equity for All Students

 

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights today released its fiscal year 2015 annual report highlighting efforts during the last year to protect students’ civil rights and increase educational equity nationwide.

The report, Delivering Justice, cites examples of OCR’s enforcement activities in 2015, including processing of a record 10,392 civil rights complaints, opening more than 3,000 investigations, and reaching more than 1,000 substantive resolutions with institutions that included remedies or changes designed to protect students’ civil rights.


May 2016

 

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Reach Voluntary Settlement with Arizona Department of Education to Meet the Needs of English Language Learner Students

 

The U.S. Departments of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division entered into a voluntary settlement agreement late yesterday with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


April 2016

 

Oklahoma City Public Schools, US Department of Education Reach Agreement to Resolve Nondiscrimination Investigation Regarding Disciplining Students

 

The U.S. Department of Education today reached a settlement agreement with the Oklahoma City Public Schools to address disproportionate discipline of black students. An investigation revealed black students were significantly overrepresented in disciplinary actions.


March 2016

 

Settlement Reached on Title IX Athletics Probe at Buffalo’s Erie Community College

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reached a settlement with Erie Community College in Buffalo, New York, to resolve issues of women’s access to athletic opportunities at the institution.

 


January 2016

 

Toledo Public Schools, U.S. Education Department Reach Agreement to Address Issues of African American Student Access to Resources

 

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights and Toledo Public Schools announced today that the district has entered into a resolution agreement to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in providing equitable resources to African American students.


2015
 

December 2015

 

Guidance on Voluntary Youth Service Organizations

 

The Dear Colleague Letter from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon explains the circumstances under which a school district lawfully may work with outside organizations that provide single-sex programming under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.


December 2015

 

Settlement Reached with Palatine, Ill., Township High School District 211 to Remedy Transgender Discrimination

 

The District voluntarily signed a resolution agreement to resolve a Title IX violation on December 3, 2015. On November 2, 2015, OCR issued a letter of finding stating that the district was in violation of Title IX for discriminating against a transgender high school student by denying her access to the girls' locker rooms for more than two years. The agreement requires the District ... (Read Entire Summary).


September 2015

 

U.S. Education Department Reaches Agreement with the University of Virginia to Address and Prevent Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the University of Virginia (UVA) announced today that UVA has entered into a resolution agreement to ensure that the university’s handling of sexual violence and sexual harassment complies with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX).


April 2015

 

Annual Report on Activities for Fiscal Year 2012-2014

 

OCR has recently released an Annual Report on Activities for Fiscal Year 2012-2014. These reports summarize OCR’s policy and enforcement activities, and are required to be presented to the President, the Secretary of Education, and Congress by Section 203(b) of the Department of Education Organization Act of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-88.

  • View Annual Report PDF (4.15M)


April 2015

 

Guidance on Obligation of Schools to Designate a Title IX Coordinator

 

The Dear Colleague Letter is accompanied by a letter to Title IX coordinators that provides them with more information about their role and a Title IX resource guide that includes an overview of Title IX’s requirements with respect to several key issues. The Dear Colleague Letter, the letter to Title IX coordinators and the Title IX Resource Guide are available on the Title IX Coordinators page.

  • Press Release

  • "Dear Colleague" letter PDF (351K)

  • Letter to Title IX coordinators PDF (298K)

  • Title IX Resource Guide PDF (501K)


March 2015

 

Addressing the Risk of Measles in Schools while Protecting the Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

 

OCR Fact Sheet entitled “Addressing the Risk of Measles in Schools while Protecting the Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities.” The Fact Sheet addresses how school officials can implement recommendations and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to protecting children and their families from measles without discriminating on the basis of disability, particularly in the case of students who are medically unable to receive a vaccine because of a disability, and explains what school officials must do to ensure continuity of learning if a student is legitimately excluded from school. Other resources on measles can be found at rems.ed.gov/KeepSchoolsSafeFromDiseases.aspx.

  • OCR Fact Sheet PDF (146K)


February 2015

 

Case Processing Manual

 

Notice – OCR is now posting its updated Case Processing Manual (CPM), which replaces the January 2010 version of the CPM.


January 7, 2015

 

Guidance to Ensure English Learner Students Have Equal Access to a High-Quality Education

 

“The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) today released joint guidance: "Dear Colleague Letter: English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents" reminding states, school districts and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential.” In addition to the guidance, the Departments also released additional tools and resources to help schools in serving English learner students and parents with limited English proficiency, including:

  • Press Release

  • "Dear Colleague" letter PDF (499K)
    Carta a los Estimados Colegas PDF (809K)

  • A fact sheet in English and in other languages about schools' obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students can participate meaningfully and equally in school.

  • A fact sheet in English and in other languages about similar obligations to communicate information to limited English proficient parents in a language they can understand.

  • A toolkit to help school districts identify English learner students.


2014
 

December 16, 2014

 

OCR Fact Sheet entitled “Implementing CDC’s Ebola Guidance for Schools while Protecting the Civil Rights of Students and Others”.

 

The Fact Sheet addresses how school officials can implement Ebola guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) without discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability; explains what school officials must do to ensure a continuity of learning if a student is legitimately excluded from school; and reminds school officials of their responsibility to respond to bullying and harassment. Other resources on Ebola can be found at www.ed.gov/ebola-response.

  • Fact Sheet PDF (158K)


December 8, 2014

 

Guidance on Protecting Civil Rights in Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities

 

"Dear Colleague" letter from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Vanita Gupta, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning the applicability of Federal civil rights laws to juvenile justice residential facilities. The letter provides a reminder that juvenile justice residential facilities receiving Federal funds are subject to the same Federal civil rights obligations as all other public schools, and highlights some of the legal requirements related to access to academic coursework and career and vocational training, students with disabilities, English language learners, and the administration of discipline.

  • Dear Colleague Letter PDF (676K)


December 1, 2014

 

Questions and Answers on Title IX and Single-Sex Elementary and Secondary Classes and Extracurricular Activities

   

These questions and answers clarify the legal requirements under the Department’s Title IX regulations governing single-sex elementary and secondary classes and extracurricular activities.


November 12, 2014

 

Guidance on effective communication for students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities in public elementary and secondary schools

 

“Dear Colleague” letter PDF (159K) and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) PDF (418K) and Parent Fact Sheet PDF (103K) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Michael K. Yudin, and Vanita Gupta, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice, concerning effective communication for students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities in public elementary and secondary schools.

  • Dear Colleague Letter PDF (159K)
    Carta a los Estimados Colegas PDF (159K)

  • FAQ PDF (418K)

  • Parent Fact Sheet PDF (103K)
    En español PDF (103K)

October 21, 2014

 

Guidance on Bullying of Students with Disabilities

 

Dear Colleague letter PDF (363K) from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, concerning the obligation of elementary and secondary schools to respond to the bullying of students with disabilities, including those students who are not eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act but are entitled to services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The guidance discusses the actions schools must take when bullying interferes with the education of a student with a disability who is bullied on any basis, and provides insight into how OCR analyzes complaints involving bullying of students with disabilities.

  • Press Release

  • Dear Colleague Letter PDF (363K)
    Carta a los Estimados Colegas PDF (388K)

  • Fact Sheet PDF (88K)
    En español PDF (40K)


October 1, 2014

 

Guidance to Ensure All Students Have Equal Access to Educational Resources

 

Dear Colleague Letter: Resource Comparability from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon about ensuring students have equal access to educational resources without regard to race, color, or national origin. The guidance, fact sheet, and resources for technical assistance are also available on the Resource Comparability Materials homepage.

  • Press Release
    En español

  • "Dear Colleague" letter PDF (469K)
    Carta a los Estimados Colegas: Comparabilidad de Recursos PDF (307K)

  • Fact Sheet PDF (179K)
    En español (Spanish) PDF (510K)
    情况说明书 (Sim. Chinese) PDF (299K)
    情況說明書 (Trad. Chinese) PDF (431K)
    한국어 (Korean) PDF (352K)
    русский (Russian) PDF (254K)
    Tagalog (Tagalog) PDF (180K)
    Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese) PDF (223K)


May 14, 2014

 

Guidance on Charter Schools

   

The new guidance highlights critical subjects that have arisen in charter schools, including the schools’ obligations to avoid discrimination in admissions practices and the administration of discipline; to provide a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities; and to take affirmative steps to assist English learners. The guidance also points to other OCR publications regarding additional civil rights principles that are equally applicable to charter schools.

  • Dear Colleague letter PDF
    Carta a los estimados colegas: Escuelas Chárter PDF


May 8, 2014

 

Guidance for School Districts to Ensure Equal Access for All Children to Public Schools Regardless of Immigration Status

 

Important updates to the joint 2011 guidance regarding school responsibilities under Plyer v. Doe, including examples of permissible enrollment practices, as well as examples of the types of information that may not be used as a basis for denying a student entrance to school.

  • Press Release
  • "Dear Colleague" letter PDF
    En español (Spanish) PDF (177K)
    العربيّة (Arabic) PDF (269K)
    情況說明書 (Trad. Chinese) PDF (230K)
    한국어 (Korean) PDF (244K)
    Tagalog (Tagalog) PDF (155K)
    Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese) PDF (214K)

  • Questions and Answers about Dear Colleague PDF (326K)
    En español (Spanish) PDF (196K)
    العربيّة (Arabic) PDF (234K)
    情況說明書 (Trad. Chinese) PDF (259K)
    한국어 (Korean) PDF (386K)
    Tagalog (Tagalog) PDF (185K)
    Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese) PDF (314K)

  • Fact Sheet about Dear Colleague PDF
    En español (Spanish) PDF (569K)
    العربيّة (Arabic) PDF (203K)
    情況說明書 (Trad. Chinese) PDF (253K)
    한국어 (Korean) PDF (289K)
    Tagalog (Tagalog) PDF (156K)
    Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese) PDF (248K)

May 6, 2014

 

Letter on Supreme Court ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

 

Dear Colleague Letter concerning the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The letter provides information about the Schuette decision and reiterates the Departments’ support for the voluntary use of race and ethnicity to achieve diversity in education.

  • Dear Colleague Letter PDF (99K)

April 29, 2014

 

Questions and Answers about Title IX and Sexual Violence

 

These questions and answers further clarify the legal requirements under Title IX articulated in the April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague letter on Sexual Violence and the January 19, 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance and provide recommendations for addressing allegations of sexual violence.

  • Press Release

  • Questions and Answers PDF (867K)

  • Know Your Rights about Title IX and Sexual Violence PDF (551K)

    En español (Spanish) PDF (551K)
    情況說明書 (Trad. Chinese) PDF (338K)
    한국어 (Korean) PDF (272K)
    Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese ) PDF (236K)

January 8, 2014

 

Guidance Package to Enhance School Climate and Improve School Discipline Policies/Practices

 

The guidance package will assist states, districts and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law in light of the difficulty of creating and maintaining safe, positive environments. Included within the guidance package is the "Dear Colleague letter: Racial Disparities In The Administration Of School Discipline" from Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, U.S. Department of Education, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels, U.S. Department of Justice.

 
 
2013
 

December 23, 2013

 

State and national estimations for the 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC)

 

December 23, 2013: Posting of state and national estimations for the 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) on the CRDC website at http://ocrdata.ed.gov. On December 23, 2013 the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) posted files containing state and national estimations based on the 2009-10 school year CRDC data from a sample of our nation’s public schools on OCR’s website for the CRDC.

The 2009-10 school year CRDC surveyed a sample of approximately 7,000 public school districts and over 72,000 public schools, representing about 85% of the country’s public school students. OCR developed the state and national estimates to approximate what the results of this survey might have been at the state and national level if every public school had been surveyed. The school and district level data for the 2009-10 CRDC has been available on http://ocrdata.ed.gov since March 2012.

The technical notes available at http://ocrdata.ed.gov provide some caveats and considerations that users should take into account when using the state and national estimations, particularly for items collected for the first time in the 2009-10 school year.

September 27, 2013

 

Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Higher Education after Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

 

This “Dear Colleague” letter and Questions and Answers document provides colleges and universities with information about the ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, and reiterates the Departments of Justice and the Department of Education’s position on the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity in higher education.

June 25, 2013

 

Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX:

 

“Dear Colleague” Letter and Pamphlet: Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 from Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter. This pamphlet clarifies the specific requirements of Title IX applicable to pregnant and parenting students. The pamphlet contains a FAQ section that explains the Title IX requirements and provides examples to ensure that schools understand their obligations and pregnant and parenting students understand their rights under Title IX. The pamphlet also provides information on strategies that educators may use and programs schools can develop to address the educational needs of students who become pregnant or have children. It also provides examples of promising practices designed to support pregnant and parenting students that schools may choose to implement.

June 12, 2013

 

Guidance to Health-Related Schools Regarding Hepatitis B Discrimination

 

Joint OCR/DOJ/HHS "Dear Colleague" Letter, addressing the rights of students with hepatitis B in postsecondary medical, dental, nursing, and other health-related programs. The letter discusses the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the participation of students with hepatitis B in health-related schools, and how the CDC recommendations relate to the federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, color, and national origin.

April 24, 2013

 

“Dear Colleague” letter from Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter, concerning the prohibition against retaliation under Federal civil rights laws.

 

The letter clarifies the basic principles of retaliation law and describes OCR’s methods of enforcement.

January 25, 2013

 

Guidance on Schools' Obligation to Provide Equal Opportunity to Students with Disabilities to Participate in Extracurricular Athletics

 

"Dear Colleague" letter from Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Seth Galanter, addressing equal access to extracurricular athletics for students with disabilities. The Dear Colleague letter provides an overview of the obligations of public elementary and secondary schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Department’s Section 504 regulations; cautions against making decisions based on presumptions and stereotypes; details the specific Section 504 regulations that require students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity for participation in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities; and discusses the provision of separate or different athletic opportunities.

 
 
2012
 

March 14, 2012

 

Notice of Interpretation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

 

The Department of Education has published in the Federal Register a Notice of Interpretation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for new construction and alterations in light of recent revisions, by the Department of Justice, of regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

March 6, 2012

 

New Data from U.S. Department of Education Highlights Educational Inequities Around Teacher Experience, Discipline and High School Rigor:

 

With the Part 2 release of data from the 2009-2010 Civil Rights Data Collection, OCR shows, among other things, that minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula, and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.

January 19, 2012

 

Department of Education Issues ADA Amendments Act Dear Colleague Letter to Provide Guidance Under Amended Legal Standards

 

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, the Amendments Act alters the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, such that the meaning of disability is broadened and, in most cases, the focus is shifted away from the question of whether a student has a disability and toward the school districts' actions and obligations to ensure equal education opportunities. OCR’s “Dear Colleague” letter and FAQ sheet elaborate on the effects of the Act.

 
 
2011
 

December 2, 2011

 

Guidance on Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity or Avoid Racial Isolation

 

Joint OCR/DOJ "Dear Colleague" Letter and guidance documents addressing the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation in elementary and secondary schools, and the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity in postsecondary institutions.

June 30, 2011

 

New Data from the U.S. Department of Education 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection Show Continuing Disparities in Educational Opportunities and Resources

 

With this first installment of a two-part biennial survey, the U.S. Department of Education provides data that not only calls attention to disparities in education resources and opportunities, but also enables policymakers, educators and parents by giving them critical information to help in identifying inequities and closing the educational achievement gap.

May 6, 2011

 

“Both the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education (Departments) write to remind you of the Federal obligation to provide equal educational opportunities to all children residing within your district and to offer our assistance in ensuring that you comply with the law.”

 

The above excerpt is from a joint Departments of Education and Justice “Dear Colleague” letter regarding schools’ enrollment procedures.

  • "Dear Colleague" letter PDF (1.3M)
    En español (Spanish) PDF (598K)
    العربيّة (Arabic) PDF (646K)
    情況說明書 (Trad. Chinese) PDF (783K)
    한국어 (Korean) PDF (773K)
    Tagalog (Tagalog) PDF
    Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese) PDF (610K)

  • Fact Sheet about Dear Colleague PDF (606K)
    En español (Spanish) PDF (602K)
    العربيّة (Arabic) PDF
    情況說明書 (Trad. Chinese) Chinese
    한국어 (Korean) Korean
    Tagalog (Tagalog) Tagalog
    Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese) Vietnamese

  • Questions and Answers about Dear Colleague PDF

April 4, 2011

 

Vice President Biden Announces New Administration Effort to Help Nation's Schools Address Sexual Violence:

 

Through the release of a “Dear Colleague” letter, Vice President Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have introduced comprehensive guidance to help schools, colleges and university better understand their responsibility to prevent the problem of campus sexual assault.

 

For news stories prior to January 31, 2011, please visit our additional News page.



   
Last Modified: 04/04/2017