AGENCY TITLE VI DEVELOPMENTS

AGENCY TITLE VI DEVELOPMENTS

ARTICLES:

 

Federal Agencies Celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Executive Order 13166 at a Convening of the Interagency Working Group on Limited English Proficiency:

On December 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hosted a convening of the Interagency Working Group on Limited English Proficiency (IWG) in commemoration of the 15thanniversary of Executive Order 13166. The meeting was headlined by Leon Rodriguez, Director of USCIS, and Megan Mack, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, from the Department of Homeland Security; Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Deeana Jang, Chief of the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division; and Doua Thor, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The IWG recognized federal efforts to advance language access since the passage of Executive Order 13166 in a report of agency accomplishments (go.usa.gov/cnHJH) and planned committees to address providing language assistance to LEP individuals. For more information on language access and Executive Order 13166, visit www.LEP.gov.

 

 

 

Department of Education Reaches Agreement with a California School District that Required Enrolling Students to Submit a Birth Certificate:

On October 22, the Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District entered into a voluntary resolution agreement to resolve the following issues under Title VI: whether the District discriminated against Mexican nationals based on national origin by requiring a birth certificate, without exception, for all students seeking to enroll in the District and whether the District fails to provide equal educational opportunities with respect to identification, assessment, and placement to national origin language-minority students who are LEP. The Office for Civil Rights will continue to monitor the District’s implementation of the Agreement and its compliance with the regulatory requirements of Title VI.

For further information about this case, please see the resolution letter (go.usa.gov/cnHz9) and agreement (go.usa.gov/cnHuY).

 

 

Department of Education Resolves Three Complaints Against the Newark, New Jersey Public Schools Consolidation Plan:

On December 9, the Office for Civil Rights entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with Newark Public Schools to resolve three separate complaints against the District. The complaints alleged that the District discriminated against African-American and Hispanic students and students with disabilities by closing several schools at the end of school year 2011-2012; that the District discriminated against African-American and Hispanic students by closing Roseville Avenue Elementary School at the end of school year 2013-2014; and that the District discriminated against African-American students by enacting the “One Newark” plan to close thirteen neighborhood public schools at the end of school year 2013-2014. In the resolution agreement, the District agreed to:

  • Develop and complete an assessment of the academic performance of transferring students.          
  • Compare the academic performance of transferring students at the receiving schools to other students to ensure that effective academic supports are provided.
  • Develop and complete an assessment of transportation services provided to transferring students.
  • Develop and complete an assessment of pupil capacity and the availability of facilities/resources at the receiving schools.
  • Convene a group of knowledgeable persons to complete an assessment of the continuation of services to transferring students with disabilities.
  • Provide compensatory services to all transferred students with disabilities determined to need such services.

OCR will continue to monitor the District’s implementation of the Agreement and its compliance with the regulatory requirements of Title VI, Section 504, and Title II.

 

Seal of the Department of Transportation  Seal of the Department of Justice

 

 

The Federal Highway Administration and Texas Department of Transportation Agree to Mitigate the Discriminatory Effects of Rebuilding the Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi:

On December 17, the Federal Highway Administration, in consultation with the Department of Justice, reached a voluntary resolution agreement (http://go.usa.gov/cuYDJ) with the Texas Department of Transportation settling an administrative complaint alleging violation of Title VI. The complaint, filed by Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and the UT School of Law Environmental Clinic, alleged that the site selection for the Harbor Bridge Project would isolate the predominantly African-American Hillcrest and Washington-Coles communities from Corpus Christi hospitals, schools, grocery stores, and most businesses, and would increase the communities’ exposure to air and soil pollutants. The site selected for the Harbor Bridge cuts through an historic African-American neighborhood that has endured decades of neglect and the encroachment of heavy industrial sites, Interstate 37, the Port of Corpus Christi, and a wastewater treatment plant, all impacting the environment and health of their community. The resolution agreement includes mitigation of the impacts of the bridge construction such as a relocation program for homeowners and renters; access to a relocation counselor; coverage of moving costs; financial assistance for neighborhood churches, small businesses, and owners of rental properties; and mitigation of construction impacts, among other options. Texas DOT also entered into agreements with local government agencies to facilitate its compliance with the settlement agreement. This result illustrates the impact of working collaboratively with federal agencies, legal services, advocates, and communities.

 

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