Guidance and Resources

Department of Justice and Department of Education Withdraw Guidance Document on School Discipline

On December 21, 2018, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education withdrew a guidance document for educational institutions. That guidance document discussed the legal framework that the Departments employ to analyze complaints of discrimination under Title IV, Title VI, and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 100. The Departments have concluded that the guidance advanced policy preferences and positions not required or contemplated by Title IV or Title VI. Accordingly, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have decided to withdraw and rescind the Guidance and associated documents. The Departments are firmly committed to vigorously enforcing civil rights protections on behalf of all students. The robust protections against race, color, and national origin discrimination guaranteed by the Constitution, Title IV, and Title VI remain unchanged, and continue to be vital for educational institutions in the United States.

Department Of Justice And Department Of Education Withdraw Guidance Documents Regarding The Use Of Race In School Admissions

On July 3, 2018, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education withdrew seven guidance documents for educational institutions.  Those documents purported to explain the legal framework that governs the use of race by elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools under the Constitution, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Departments have concluded that the documents advocate legal positions and policy preferences beyond the requirements of the Constitution, Title IV, and Title VI.  The Departments therefore will no longer rely on the views expressed in the documents.  The Departments' new letter explains that withdrawal of the guidance documents leaves in place all protections from discrimination on the basis of race guaranteed by the Constitution, Title IV, and Title VI and reiterates the Departments' firm commitment to vigorously enforcing those protections on behalf of all students.

 DCL Withdrawn Affirmative Action Guidance | PDF

Department of Justice and Department of Education Withdraw Title IX Guidance to Educational Institutions

On February 22, 2017, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education withdrew two guidance documents for educational institutions. Both withdrawn documents took the position that Title IX's prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sex require access to sex-segregated facilities on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex. The Departments have decided that they need to consider further and more completely the issues involved and will no longer rely on the views expressed in the documents. The new guidance document affirms a commitment to enforce Title IX to protect all students, including LGBTQ students, from discrimination, bullying and harassment.

Dear Colleague Letter | PDF

Supreme Court Letter | PDF

Fact Sheet: Combating Discrimination Against AANHPI and MASSA Students

On June 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders issued a fact sheet that includes examples of forms of discrimination that members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) communities commonly face. This fact sheet is intended to help parents understand what types of harassment and other forms of discrimination may violate federal civil rights laws that the Departments of Justice and Education enforce.  The applicable federal civil rights law include, among others: Titles IV and VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000c-6, 2000d-d-7; Title VI’s implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Pt. 100, 28 C.F.R. Pt. 42; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681a; and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1758. 

This guidance document is not intended to be a final agency action, has no legally binding effect, and has no force or effect of law.  The document may be rescinded or modified in the Department’s complete discretion, in accordance with applicable laws. The Department’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities beyond what is required by the terms of the applicable statutes, regulations, or binding judicial precedent.  For more information, see "Memorandum for All Components: Prohibition of Improper Guidance Documents," from Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III, November 16, 2017.

Fact Sheet | PDF

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Department of Justice and Department Education Release Joint Guidance to Ensure English Learner Students Have Equal Access to a High-Quality Education

On January 7, 2015, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice issued a joint guidance reminding states, school districts and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential. The applicable federal laws include, but are not limited to:  Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000c-6, 2000d-d-7; the Departments’ Title VI’s regulations, 34 C.F.R. Pt. 100 and 28 C.F.R. Pt. 42; and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1758.

The guidance documents are not intended to be final agency action, have no legally binding effect, and have no force or effect of law.  The documents may be rescinded or modified in the Departments’ complete discretion, in accordance with applicable laws. The Departments’ guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities beyond what is required by the terms of the applicable statutes, regulations, or binding judicial precedent.  For more information, see "Memorandum for All Components: Prohibition of Improper Guidance Documents," from Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III, November 16, 2017.

View additional information about the Dear Colleague Letter  | Vea información adicional sobre la carta a los estimados colegas sobre los alumnos que aprenden inglés y padres de familia con dominio limitado del inglés 

Department of Justice and Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in Public Schools

On May 8, 2014, the Departments of Justice and Education issued an updated set of guidance documents to all public school districts reminding them of their obligation under federal law to provide equal educational opportunities to all children residing in their districts, and to offer assistance to ensure they are complying with the law. The applicable federal statutes, regulations, and judicial precedent include, among others: Titles IV and VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000c-6, 2000d-d-7; Title VI’s implementing regulations, see, e.g., 34 C.F.R. Pt. 100, 28 C.F.R. Pt. 42; the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1758; and Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982).

The guidance documents are not intended to be final agency action, have no legally binding effect, and have no force or effect of law.  The documents may be rescinded or modified in the Departments’ complete discretion, in accordance with applicable laws. The Departments’ guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities beyond what is required by the terms of the applicable statutes, regulations, or binding judicial precedent.  For more information, see "Memorandum for All Components: Prohibition of Improper Guidance Documents," from Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III, November 16, 2017.

Dear Colleague Letter | PDF

Carta a los estimados colegas sobre los derechos de todos los niños a matricularse en la escuela | Español PDF

Fact Sheet | PDF

Hoja informativa sobre los derechos de todos los niños a matricularse en la escuela | Español PDF

Questions & Answers for States, School Districts, and Parents and Community Members | PDF

Preguntas y respuestas para los estados, distritos escolares, padres y la comunidad | Español PDF

Korean | PDF

Updated February 15, 2019

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