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Title VI and Education

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TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 PROHIBITS DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES WHICH RECEIVE FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202-1328

EDUCATION AND TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964


Title VI and Race, Color and National Origin Discrimination

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title VI states that:
No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the United States Department of Education (ED) are covered by Title VI. ED maintains an Office for Civil Rights, with 10 regional offices and a headquarters office in Washington, D.C., to enforce Title VI.

Education Programs and Activities Covered by Title VI

Programs and activities that receive ED funds must operate in a non-discriminatory manner. These may include, but are not limited to: admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, student treatment and services, counseling and guidance, discipline, classroom assignment, grading, vocational education, recreation, physical education, athletics, housing and employment, if it affects those who are intended to benefit from the Federal funds. Also, a recipient may not retaliate against any person because he or she opposed an unlawful educational practice or policy, or made charges, testified or participated in any complaint action under Title VI. For a recipient to retaliate in any way is considered a violation of Title VI. The ED Title VI regulations (Volume 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 100) provide a detailed discussion of discrimination prohibited by Title VI.

The Office for Civil Rights Enforces Title VI

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in ED is responsible for enforcing Title VI as it applies to programs and activities funded by ED. OCR's responsibility to ensure that institutions that receive ED funds comply with Title VI is carried out through compliance enforcement. The principal enforcement activity is the investigation and resolution of complaints filed by people alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. Also, through a compliance review program of selected recipients, OCR is able to identify and remedy discrimination that may not be addressed through complaint investigations. Compliance reviews differ from complaint investigations in that OCR has discretion in selecting the institutions it will review.

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