Title VI compliance from U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights:
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at U.S. Department of Education issued the Dear Colleague letter on Title VI compliance with regard to equal opportunity and equitable resources in school districts. In other years, this has been a typically uneventful federal review that looked, mostly, at whether districts equitably distributed funding throughout the district. This year, it may get a little more complicated. The Dear Colleague letter states that you cannot look at school funding as the only basis for measuring comparability. The letter specifies additional areas, such as school infrastructure, access to rigorous coursework, and technology. This new approach to measuring OCR compliance appears to be based on the findings of the Equity Commission Report to Secretary Duncan last year that covered equitable school finance; teachers, principals and curricula; early childhood education; efforts to mitigate effects of poverty; and, accountability and governance.