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Civil Rights Compliance

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The Special Needs section of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education actively supports the mission of the Office for Civil Rights: "to ensure equal access to a high quality education for all students through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights." A primary responsibility of the Special Needs section is to conduct Civil Rights Compliance Reviews each year at eight institutions offering or administering vocational programs that receive federal financial assistance.

Civil Rights Compliance Reviews consist of a on-site visit to the institution and interviews with the superintendent, principals, directors, guidance counselors, teachers and students, as well as classroom observation, review of records, policy, and tours of the physical plant and grounds to assess the institution's compliance with federal civil rights statutes.

In 1973, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare was sued for its failure to enforce Title VI in a number of education areas, including vocational education (Adams v. Califano).  As a result of this litigation, the Department was directed to enforce civil rights requirements in vocational education programs through compliance reviews.  The Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, and Handicap were issued March 15, 1979.  These guidelines explain how civil rights laws and regulations apply to vocational education and the Civil rights responsibilities of recipients of Federal financial assistance offering or administering vocational programs.

The Special Needs section of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education actively supports the mission of the Office for Civil Rights:  "to ensure equal access to a high quality education for all students through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights".  A primary responsibility of the Special Needs section is to conduct Civil Rights Compliance Reviews each year at eight (8) institutions offering or administering vocational programs that receive federal financial assistance.

Civil Rights Compliance Reviews consist of a on-site visit to the institution and interviews with the superintendent, principals, directors, guidance counselors, teachers and students, as well as classroom observation, review of records, policy, and tours of the physical plant and grounds to assess the institution's compliance with federal civil rights statutes.

Federal Compliance Requirements

U.S. Department of Education regulations implementing:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 34 CFR Part 100
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 34 CFR Part 106
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 34 CFR Part 104
  • Vocational Education Programs Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Handicap (Guidelines), 34 CFR Part 100 Appendix B

U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing:

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), 28 CFR Part 35

  • Guidelines: These guidelines explain the civil rights responsibilities of recipients of Federal funds offering or administering vocational education programs
  • Title VI (race):  The Civil rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination and denial of services on the basis of race, color, and national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued regulations implementing Title VI in 1965.
  • Title IX (sex/gender):  The Education amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex/gender  in education programs receiving or benefiting from federal financial assistance.  The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued regulations implementing Title IX in 1975.
  • Sexual Harassment Guidance:  Harassment of Students by School Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties.  The Guidance provides information regarding the standards that are used by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and that should be used to investigate and resolve allegations of sexual harassment of students engaged in by school employees, other students (peers)
  • Section 504 (disabilities):  The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued regulations implementing Section 504 in 1977. 
  • Americans with Disabilities Act:  Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities.  It extends the prohibition of discrimination in federally assisted programs established by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to all activities of state and local governments, including those that do not receive federal financial assistance.  Effective date: January 26, 1992.