Historical Dictionary of School Segregation and Desegregation: The American Experience

By Jeffrey A. Raffel | Go to book overview

O

OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS (OCR). Established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964* and located in the Department of Education,* the Office for Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing civil rights* statutes that prohibit discrimination* based on race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age in programs offered by the Department of Education. The OCR led the legal fight for schooldistrict compliance in school desegregation* in the South* from its creation through Richard Nixon's* election in 1972.

The Office for Civil Rights was created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act as the office responsible for enforcement of this act and subsequent civil rights legislation. OCR is responsible for enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972* (which prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which prohibits discrimination based on physical or mental disability), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability). The civil rights laws enforced by OCR cover agencies in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories and possessions, and the nation's approximately 16,000 school districts, 3,600 postsecondary institutions, 6,800 proprietary schools, and other institutions receiving federal financial aid.

OCR has its administrative offices in Washington and ten regional offices. The latter handle program operations, primarily processing complaints of discrimination. OCR conducts compliance reviews as the need is defined by survey

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