The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education requires that local education agencies (LEAs) provide career and technical education (CTE) programs, services, and activities in accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has regulatory responsibilities for CTE programs in Texas public secondary schools and is required to adopt a civil rights compliance program to identify, remedy, and/or prevent discrimination in the CTE programs operated by LEAs.
Requirements for compliance are found in the document, Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, and Handicap in Vocational Education Programs (Guidelines). A link to the full text can be found at the CTE PAR Monitoring webpage, which is located on the Program Monitoring and Interventions website at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/pmi/CTEmonitoring/.
One important requirement of the Guidelines is that, prior to the beginning of each school year, every LEA providing CTE programs must advise students, parents, employees, and the general public that all career and technical education opportunities will be offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. Local newspapers, websites, or other media that reach the general public must be utilized to disseminate the required notification. Information regarding this requirement can be found in Section IV - O of the Guidelines under Public Notification.
English and Spanish versions of sample public notification forms that include all required elements for complying with this requirement may be downloaded at the website address noted above. Please note, however, that the Guidelines state that if the LEA “contains a community of national minority persons with limited English language skills, public notification materials must be disseminated to that community in its language and must state that the LEA will take steps to assure that the lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in vocational education programs.” Therefore, if your LEA contains communities who speak languages other than English or Spanish, it also will be necessary for the LEA to prepare and disseminate the required notice in those languages.
TEA staff will provide support to LEAs in complying with the requirement to eliminate discrimination in CTE programs. If additional information is needed, please contact the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions at (512) 463-5226 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Michael Greenwalt, Ed.D.