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OCR – Dear Colleague Letter on Retaliation

May 20, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY

April 24, 2013

Dear Colleague:

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the United States Department of Education (Department) is responsible for enforcing Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age by recipients of Federal financial assistance (recipient(s)) from the Department.1 Although a significant portion of the complaints filed with OCR in recent years have included retaliation claims, OCR has never before issued public guidance on this important subject. The purpose of this letter is to remind school districts, postsecondary institutions, and other recipients that retaliation is also a violation of Federal law.2 This letter seeks to clarify the basic principles of retaliation law and to describe OCR’s methods of enforcement. Read the rest of this entry →

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Helping to Ensure Equal Access to Education

December 3, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Recently, the Office of Civil Rights submitted a report to the President on Helping to Ensure Equal Access to Education.  This 76 page report is nothing short of shocking and shows we have a very long way to go on the issue of student’s with disabilities.  Since I could not do it justice below are some points taken directly from the report.

  • Over the last four years (FY 2009–12), OCR has received 28,971 complaints—more than in any previous four-year period in its history, and representing a 24 percent increase over the previous four-year period. Over half of them addressed disability issues, about a quarter pertained to Title VI concerns, and the remaining addressed sex and age discrimination, 14 percent and 6 percent respectively. Read the rest of this entry →
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