U.S. Department of Education Builds on Efforts to Improve Services for Students, Increase Effectiveness and Fairness of Office for Civil Rights Investigations

WASHINGTON — As part of its ongoing work to protect students’ civil rights and effectively, efficiently and fairly investigate civil rights complaints, today the U.S. Department of Education announced additional improvements to the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) Case Processing Manual (CPM).

“Our top priority in the Office for Civil Rights is ensuring all students have equal access to education free from discrimination,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus. “Since joining the OCR team in June, I’ve reviewed our Case Processing Manual and received important and constructive feedback on it.  While we continue to work to improve the timeliness of OCR’s case processing, we have determined that additional revisions will help improve our work and allow us to be more responsive to students, stakeholders and our staff.”

The CPM provides guidelines for field investigators working to investigate and resolve complaints and to ensure schools comply with the laws and regulations enforced by OCR. The CPM underwent its last revision in March of 2018.

Full story at ed.gov

U.S. Education Department Reaches Agreement with Chicago Public Schools to Increase Athletic Opportunities for Girls to Comply with Title IX

The U.S. Department of Education today announced that its Office for Civil Rights has reached an agreement with the Chicago Public Schools to ensure that Illinois’ largest school district complies with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.

OCR’s investigation revealed significant disparities between the enrollment of female students and their participation in high school interscholastic athletics at the majority of district high schools. OCR determined that 6,200 additional athletic participation opportunities would be available if girls’ enrollment and participation were proportionate.

“With this resolution agreement, the district has committed to provide, on a school by school basis, an equal opportunity for high school girls to participate in interscholastic athletics at all 98 high schools,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “I am delighted that the new accountability measures put in place by the district, including a new Title IX Sports Compliance Coordinator, new sports participation database, and new website that provides a description of sports offerings at each high school and a process for students to request additional sports opportunities, will help ensure equal athletic opportunity for another 6,200 Chicago girls and equal opportunity in school for all Chicago students.”

Full story of public school athletic opportunities at ed.gov