Agency Title VI Directives, Initiatives, and Reports

Agency Title VI Directives, Initiatives, and Reports

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Department of Education Releases 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection:

 

On June 7, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) unveiled the new Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) (go.usa.gov/xqExA) from the 2013-2014 school year. The CRDC shows wide gaps that still remain in key areas affecting educational equity and opportunity for students, including incidents of discipline, restraint and seclusion, access to courses and programs that lead to college and career readiness, teacher equity, rates of retention, and access to early learning. 

 

ED OCR releases the CRDC every two years to ensure transparency around the educational opportunities and experiences of millions of public school students. The 2013-14 CRDC covers more than 50 million students enrolled in nearly every school and school district in the United States.

 

The 2013-2014 CRDC collected data on several new topics for the first time, including chronic student absenteeism; access to educational programs in justice facilities; availability of distance education, including online courses; the presence of sworn law enforcement officers in schools (including school resource officers); availability of partially or fully cost-subsidized preschool; and appointment of civil rights coordinators.

 

Department of Education Releases Annual Report Citing Their Enforcement Activities:  

 

On May 4, ED OCR released its fiscal year 2015 annual report (go.usa.gov/xqPHw) highlighting efforts during the last year to protect students’ civil rights and increase educational equity nationwide. The report cites examples of OCR’s enforcement activities in 2015, including processing a record 10,392 civil rights complaints, opening more than 3,000 investigations, and reaching more than 1,000 substantive resolutions with institutions that included remedies or changes designed to protect students’ civil rights.

 

Notable cases are profiled in the report, including some related to equitable access to courses and educational opportunities, racial harassment, equal opportunity for English learners, bullying and harassment, accessible technology for students with disabilities, and sexual harassment and violence.

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Department of Homeland Security will Review Applicants for Controlled Equipment for Civil Rights Violations:

 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is developing a process to collect and review civil rights information from law enforcement and other organizations requesting to use DHS financial assistance to acquire controlled equipment, such as military-style manned aircrafts, armored and tactical vehicles, specialized firearms, and riot helmets and shields. For decades, the federal government has provided equipment to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies through excess equipment transfers, federal grants, and other programs to assist these agencies as they carry out their critical missions to keep the American people safe. The equipment that law enforcement agencies acquired through these programs includes controlled equipment, as well as administrative equipment, such as office furniture and computers. 

 

On January 16, 2015, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13688, “Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition” to identify actions that can improve federal support for the appropriate use, acquisition, and transfer of controlled equipment by law enforcement agencies. The federal government recognized the need to carefully oversee the provision of controlled equipment and funds for controlled equipment, and to ensure that law enforcement recipients have proper training regarding the appropriate use of the equipment. This includes training on the protection of civil rights and civil liberties, and awareness of law enforcement agencies’ obligations under federal nondiscrimination laws. To implement the Executive Order and related interagency recommendations, the new DHS CRCL process will require applicants to report civil rights violations, findings of discrimination made by a court or administrative agency, and remedial agreements entered into as a result of a civil rights investigation during the past three years. DHS will review this information to determine if the applicant is in compliance with nondiscrimination requirements and, if approved to acquire controlled equipment, will carry out its programs and activities in a nondiscriminatory manner.   

 

For further information about DHS, CRCL, visit their website (go.usa.gov/xqP9C).