August 15, 2016
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Required Annual Notification of Nondiscrimination in Career and Technical Education Programs
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education requires that districts, including charter schools, 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, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 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 districts.
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 Methods of Administration (MOA) webpage, which is located on the Program Monitoring and Interventions website at: http://tea.texas.gov/pmi/CTEMOAmonitoring/.
One important requirement of the Guidelines is that, prior to the beginning of each school year, every district 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.
An English and Spanish version of a sample public notification form, which includes all required elements for complying with this requirement, may be downloaded from the MOA Guidance and Resources webpage at: http://tea.texas.gov/index2.aspx?id=2147495596&menu_id=2147483703 http://tea.texas.gov/index2.aspx?id=2147495647&menu_id=2147483703. Please note, the Guidelines state that if the district “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 district 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 district contains communities who speak languages other than English or Spanish, it also will be necessary for the district to prepare and disseminate the required notice in those languages.
TEA staff will provide support to districts in complying with the requirement to eliminate discrimination in CTE programs. If additional information is needed, please contact the Program Monitoring and Interventions Division by phone at (512) 463-5226 or by e-mail at PMIdivision@tea.texas.gov.
C. Lizette Ridgeway
Program Monitoring and Interventions