The Common Law Is The Will Of Mankind Issuing From The Life Of The People

Educational Opportunities : Civil Rights Division

Educational Opportunities Section

photo of hallway in RFK Main Justice Building

Fifty years ago, in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that the intentional segregation of students on the basis of race in public schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Subsequent federal legislation and court decisions also mandate that school officials not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, national origin, language barrier, religion, or disabilities. The Educational Opportunities Section enforces these statutes and court decisions in a diverse array of cases involving elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

Specifically, the Section enforces Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA), and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as other statutes such as Title VI and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act upon referral from other governmental agencies. The Section may intervene in private suits alleging violations of education-related anti-discrimination statutes and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Section also represents the Department of Education in lawsuits.

Educational Opportunities Section News

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Justice Department announced today that it has reached an out-of-court settlement in the matter of J.L. v. Mohawk Central School District, to address alleged violations of amendments which prohibit discrimination based on sex, including discrimination based on gender stereotypes.
Friday, March 26, 2010
The Justice Department today announced that it entered into a settlement agreement with the Monroe City School District in Louisiana to address the educational inequities between schools serving virtually all black student populations and those schools that serve most of the district's white students.

More News and Speeches


The Section investigates complaints that SEAs or school districts are not providing adequate services to English Language Learner (ELL) students.
General Information Office of the Attorney General
Amy I. Berman
Acting Chief
Opportunities Section
(202) 514-4092
1-877-292-3804 (toll-free)
FAX - (202) 514-8337
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Updated August 6, 2015

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