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Synopsis of Federal Civil Rights Laws

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

COORDINATOR:      Joan Woodward                         (508) 548-0151 x 143

Statute prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color or national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance.  This statue ensures that individuals are not excluded from participation in programs or activities receiving federal funds (or the benefits of) on account of their membership in one of these protected categories (42 USC S2000d).  This statue has been interpreted to prohibit the denial of equal access to education because of a language minority student's limited proficiency in English.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

COORDINATOR:      Joan Woodward                   (508) 548-0151 x 143

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides that no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  Title IX requires that schools adopt and publish a policy against sex discrimination and have grievance procedures through which students can complain of alleged sex discrimination, including sexual harassment.  State Law requires Massachusetts's employers to have a policy against sexual harassment (M.G.L., Ch. 151B, S3A)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

COORDINATOR:     Joan Woodward                    (508) 548-0151 x143

Section 504 provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall solely by reason of his/her/ disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  The regulations implementing Section 504 require that public schools provide a free appropriate education to each qualified handicapped person who is in the recipient's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the person's handicap.  (34 CFR 104.33)

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

COORDINATOR:     Joan Woodward                                   (508) 548-0151 x 143

The regulations implementing the ADA provide that, " A public entity that employs 50 or more persons shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under this part, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to it alleging its noncompliance with this part or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by this part.  The public entity must make available to all interested individuals the name, office address, and telephone number of the employee or employees designated pursuant to this paragraph."  (34CFR 35.107(a))

Equal Educational Opportunities Laws:

Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974   

COORDINATOR:     Lori Duerr                            (508) 548-0151 x 137

This federal statue prohibits states from denying equal educational opportunities to an individual based on certain protected classifications including national origin.  It specifically prohibits denying equal educational opportunities by failing to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede participation by its students in its instructional programs. (20 USC S1203 (f))

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 76, 85      

COORDINATOR:     Joany Santa                                 (508) 548-0151 x 125

(also know as Chapter 622)

This state law provides that "(n)o person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion. national origin, or sexual orientation."

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

COORDINATOR    Sonia Tellier                           (508) 548-0151 x 130

Title I is designed to help disadvantaged children meet challenging content and student performance standards.  Staff should know that special education students are not deemed ineligible for Title I services simply because they receive special education services.  Also, school districts must ensure that Title I funds are not being misused (e.g. referring a limited English proficient student to a Title I program in order to meet the student's language needs rather that providing and ESL program/class). 

Homeless Educational Liaison

COORDINATOR         Anne Barnes                        (508) 548-0151 x 141

Special Education

Chapter 688

COORDINATOR:     Joan Woodward                      (508) 548-0151 x 143

School districts file a Chapter 688 referral for students with severe disabilities who will need continued services and supports after their eligibility for special education ceases.  School districts must make Chapter 688 referrals at least 2 years before the student is expected to graduate from school or turn 22 years of age.  This allows time to determine the student's eligibility for adult services and for agencies to include the anticipated cost of services for the student in its budget request that it submits to the state legislature each year.