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On Friday, April 24, 2015 the USDOE Office for Civil Rights released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) to school districts, colleges, and universities reminding them of their obligation 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 link is http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/guid/ocr/title-ix-coordinators.html
This is a very important set of emails. Please note these highlights from the DCL.
The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) released joint guidance 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. The guidance, fact sheets, and other resources (including translated versions of the guidance and fact sheets) are available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ellresources.html.
Schools’ Civil Rights Obligations to English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents
The obligation not to discriminate based on race, color, or national origin requires public schools to take affirmative steps to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) students, now more commonly known as known as English Learner (EL) students or English Language Learners (ELLs), can meaningfully participate in educational programs and services, and to communicate information to LEP parents in a language they can understand.
The following materials include information for students and parents, OCR guidance and resources for education officials about their obligations to EL students and LEP parents, and added resources with related information.
For Students and Parents
For Education Officials
U.S. Department of Education Resources
U.S. Department of Education Funded Resources and Partnerships
December 8, 2014
Although the overall number of youth involved in the juvenile justice system has been decreasing, there are still more than 60,000 young people in juvenile justice residential facilities in the United States on any given day.1 With the support of grants administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), juvenile justice residential facilities provide educational services to hundreds of thousands of students over the course of each year.2
The Departments are committed to working with juvenile justice residential facilities to ensure that all students have equal educational opportunities, while supporting these facilities in preparing these students for successful reentry into their communities, so that they are ready to return to their local schools and graduate, to continue or begin a postsecondary program, or enter employment. As part of these efforts, we write to remind you that the Federal civil rights laws, regulations, and guidance that prohibit race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and disability discrimination against students in traditional public schools also apply to educational services and supports offered or provided to youth in juvenile justice residential facilities.
Read the entire letter at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-residential-facilities-201412.pdf
Transgender Youth Protected by Title IX – Updated Title IX guidance released by the U.S. Department of Education clarifies that the civil rights law’s protection extends to all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Does Title IX protect all students from sexual violence?
Answer: Yes. Title IX protects all students at recipient institutions from sex discrimination,
including sexual violence. Any student can experience sexual violence: from elementary to
professional school students; male and female students; straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender students; part-time and full-time students; students with and without
disabilities; and students of different races and national origins.”
Today, the Office for Civil Rights has released guidance to remind school districts, postsecondary institutions, and other Federal funding recipients of the legal prohibition against retaliation with regard to civil rights complaints and to describe OCR’s methods of enforcement. The DCL does not contain any new policy or new interpretations of law and is supported by well-established caselaw. However, OCR has never before issued any public guidance describing its enforcement of recipients’ non-retaliation obligations. We chose to do so here because we feel that this is an important area for clear concise guidance as nearly one fifth of all complaints received by OCR raise retaliation allegations.
Please take a moment to read this important guidance at:
As always, if you have any questions, requests for technical assistance, or outreach opportunities where OCR can play a role please contact one of our regional offices. You can always find our list of offices and the regions they support at https://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm.
Remember to follow the Office for Civil Rights on twitter @EDcivilrights.
Office for Civil Rights