Agency Title VI Guidance, Directives, Initiatives, and Reports

Agency Title VI Guidance, Directives, Initiatives, and Reports

 

Department of Education Issues Notice of Proposal for 2017-18 Civil Rights Data Collections:

 

On December 30, ED OCR issued notice of its proposal for the 2017-18 Civil Rights Data Collections (CRDC) in the Federal Register (81 Fed. Reg. 96,446, go.usa.gov/x9U9h ). The entire package is available for 60 days for comment on regulations.gov at go.usa.gov/x9UX3 . The documents that summarize the proposed changes and ask the directed questions are Supporting Statement A and Attachment A-5, both of which are available in the Supporting Statements folder at go.usa.gov/x9UXa. In addition, the CRDC collection tool for the 2015-26 school year will open for states on January 17, so they can pre-populate any data items they have for their school districts. School districts can start submitting their data for the 2015-16 school year on February 6.

 

Department of Education Issues Annual Report on Equal Educational Opportunity and Compilation Report Highlighting 2009-2016 Civil Rights Activity:

 

On December 8, the ED OCR released its FY 2016 Annual Report, Securing Equal Educational Opportunity (go.usa.gov/x9UXg), and a compilation report highlighting the activities of the office from 2009-2016 called Achieving Simple Justice (go.usa.gov/x9UXT).  The press release on both documents can be found here (go.usa.gov/x9UXj).

 

Department of Education Issues Report on Promising Practices to Address Inequalities for Minorities and Low-Income Students in Higher Education:

 

On November 18, ED released a report, Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education (http://go.usa.gov/x9UXZ) , on the continuing educational inequities and opportunity gaps facing students of color and low-income students in accessing quality higher education and the agency’s efforts to address these issues by promoting diversity in institutions of higher education. The report also underscores promising practices that colleges are taking to advance success for students of every background. In conjunction with the report, Secretary John B. King, Jr. issued a Dear Colleague Letter (go.usa.gov/x9UXB) calling on institutions to do all they can to eliminate harassment and discrimination to ensure a positive environment for all students.

 

Department of Education Launches Central Database for Identifying Civil Rights Coordinators in U.S. Schools:

 

In November 2016, ED OCR launched its first-ever Civil Rights Coordinators (go.usa.gov/x9UXK) search page that allows the public to search the names and contact information for the civil rights coordinators (Title IX coordinators, Section 504/Title II coordinators, and Title VI coordinators) of almost every school district in the country. Civil rights coordinators often have different titles at different schools, but they are the school employees designated to coordinate the school’s compliance with civil rights laws. They play a vital role in ensuring that, regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, or disability, students have equal educational opportunities.

 

Department of Education Awards More Than $6.5 Million for New Equity Assistance Centers to Support Equitable Education Opportunities for All Students:

 

On September 29, ED announced the award of more than $6.5 million in grants (go.usa.gov/x9UX8) to fund four regional Equity Assistance Centers (go.usa.gov/x9UX9) to support schools and communities creating equitable education opportunities for all students. These centers, authorized by Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, will provide technical assistance in the preparation and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools (including desegregation based on race, national origin, sex, and religion). The centers will also provide resources and training to combat issues such as hate crimes, implicit bias, racial prejudice, and bullying.

 

Department of Education Awards $91 Million to School Districts in Five States to Support Racial and Socioeconomic Integration Through Magnet Schools:

 

On September 26, ED announced the award of nine new grants (go.usa.gov/x9UXX) under the FY 2016 Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) competition. The awards total $91,022,144 and will be distributed over a three-year period. MSAP funding will provide grantees with the opportunity to implement magnet schools that will reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation; produce high student academic achievement; promote diversity and socioeconomic desegregation; and deliver innovative, theme-based curriculum.

 

Department of Homeland Security Develops New Nondiscrimination Notice for Federal Funding Recipients:

 

In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Office of Equal Rights and the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, issued a notice to DHS recipients on their obligations to ensure nondiscrimination in the provision of federally assisted services to disaster survivors. The notice provided information on the prohibitions against race, color, and national origin (including limited English proficiency) discrimination under Title VI and disability discrimination under Section 504, with links to resources on implementing the requirements of both statutes. FEMA issued the notice to DHS recipients and subrecipients in connection with the 2016 Louisiana floods and later to those impacted by Hurricane Matthew. DHS intends to disseminate the notice to recipients during future disasters.

 

The notice to recipients, available at go.usa.gov/x9UX5, is related to CRCL’s larger effort to support individual and community resilience to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other emergencies. Through guidance, planning, and coordination, CRCL seeks to ensure that civil rights and civil liberties are respected during the development of emergency-related federal policies and procedures. CRCL also continues to coordinate with FEMA to develop and disseminate information to DHS recipients and other stakeholders to ensure the protection of individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, and racially and ethnically diverse communities, including those with limited English proficiency.

 

Department of Justice Updates Chapters of the Title VI Legal Manual:   

       

On January 11, DOJ updated sections of the Title VI Legal Manual (go.usa.gov/x9UXN) addressing private right of action, employment, retaliation, and intentional and disparate impact discrimination under Title VI. DOJ has updated the Title VI Legal Manual pursuant to its mandate under Executive Order 12250 to ensure the consistent and effective enforcement of Title VI and related statutes.

 

Department of Justice Releases “TIPS on Building an Effective Staff Language Service Program” as Part of Its Ongoing Translation Interpretation and Procurement Series:

 

On January 10, FCS, in consultation with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, issued "TIPS on Building an Effective Staff Language Service Program" (go.usa.gov/x9UNS), a resource to help organizations understand the process of recruiting, hiring, accessing, compensating, and retaining multilingual employees.  This resource and additional tools are available at go.usa.gov/x9UNu.

 

Department of Justice Issues Overview of Key Accomplishments and Highlights from the Civil Rights Division:

 

On January 6, the Civil Rights Division of DOJ issued a report entitled Fulfilling America’s Promise of Equal Justice and Equal Opportunity for All (go.usa.gov/x9UNj) highlighting the activities of the office from 2009-2016.

 

U.S. Department of Justice and White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable Issue First Annual Report:

 

On November 30, DOJ and the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (WH-LAIR) issued a report, Expanding Access to Justice, Strengthening Federal Programs (go.usa.gov/x9UZn), which documents the significant steps that the 22 federal agency members of WH-LAIR have taken over the past four years to integrate civil legal aid into innovative interagency collaborations that support and protect low-income and vulnerable populations that are frequently overlooked and often underserved. As the report states, civil legal aid is essential because unlike criminal cases where there is typically a constitutional right to counsel, there is no right to a lawyer in most civil cases, leaving many low- and moderate-income Americans without any legal assistance. Through its work, WH-LAIR has helped to educate legal aid organizations about the statutes the federal agencies enforce, filing complaints, accessing free resources, and tabulating census data in civil rights cases.

 

Highlighted in the report are numerous examples of agencies working with legal aid organizations to advance common goals. This includes examples of how legal aid can help identify and resolve civil rights issues faced by their clients, whether they are school children, people seeking unemployment insurance and workers compensation, victims of natural disasters, or those seeking equity in transportation and housing:

  • Housing: federal agencies continue to collaborate with legal aid providers to enforce the Fair Housing Act to prevent discriminatory practices – whether it is sexual harassment by landlords against low-income women or local government efforts to exclude group homes for people with disabilities – that often threaten the housing rights of already vulnerable populations, placing them at risk of becoming homeless.
  • Employment: federal agencies partnered with legal aid organizations around the country to prevent discrimination based on citizenship, immigration status and national origin.
  • Education: federal agencies provided information to legal aid organizations on disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline and how to access and tabulate census data in civil rights cases.
  • Emergency and disaster management: several federal agencies collaborated to protect the civil rights of those affected by disasters, urging recipients of federal disaster funds to work with legal aid organizations before, during and after an emergency.
  • Child welfare: federal agencies issued guidance documents to courts and child welfare agencies to address civil rights concerns bases on race, color, and national origin.
  • Reentry: federal agencies spotlighted grants and new training and technical assistance to help people who served their time, paid their debt to society, and deserve a chance to restart their lives and contribute to their communities. For example, this included grants that deliver legal aid to eligible public housing residents under the age of 25 and technical assistance to local legal aid programs, public defender offices and reentry services providers to help with record-cleaning, expungement and related civil legal services.

See the following links for the fact sheet (go.usa.gov/x9UZP) and press release (go.usa.gov/x9UZE) on the report and for further information on WH-LAIR (go.usa.gov/x9UZy).