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News & Press: Policy

COPAA Urges OCR to Take Responsible Action to Address Unlawful Inequity and Discrimination

Thursday, April 12, 2018   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Denise Marshall
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Children with disabilities have the right to learn free from discrimination in our nation’s public schools. The right of a parent to go to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education to raise claims of illegal discrimination has been vital in securing appropriate educational services for children with disabilities and in halting discrimination in its tracks.  Utilizing complaints from parents, OCR has served as an efficient, non-litigious law enforcement agency, protecting the rights of some of the nation's most vulnerable students.  It is the responsibility and stated mission of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools. As part of that mission, OCR investigates complaints made under Title II  of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 concerning individual or systemic claims of discrimination.

            Recently, the administration has issued a new case processing manual which in effect renders OCR meaningless. The manual permits OCR to dismiss any complaint at any time; eliminate the appeals process for families; and reduce the time for complainants to give evidence.  These changes make little sense.  They gut the protections afforded parents and, at the same time, will force more parents into expensive administrative appeals process.  Indeed, eviscerating the OCR complaint process will not only result in more unremediated discrimination, it will also result in higher litigation costs for school districts.

            COPAA urges OCR to take action to restore rights and to acknowledge and address violations rather than dismiss and ignore them.  Our children’s lives depend on responsible action to address unlawful inequity and discrimination.  


Read the new OCR Case Processing Manual.

 

Comments...

Marcie Lipsitt (Katz) says...
Posted Thursday, April 12, 2018
Thank you to COPAA for writing this alert on the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights unlawful and morally bankrupt March 5, 2018 revisions to the Case Processing Manuel and the devastating Section 108(t)

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