Note: If you need to file a complaint, please contact richard [dot] gomez [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (Richard Gomez) , Educational Equity Coordinator, at 801>538-7643.
The purpose of the reviews is to ensure that schools and districts are providing access for all students to educational programs in compliance with the requirements of the following federal Civil Rights statutes:
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Justice
Affected protected groups under these statutes include “race, color, national origin, sex (gender), age, and disabilities.”
Among other criteria, the main criteria used in selecting a high school are based on (1) the high school receiving a CTE program approval process in a given year and (2) the high school rising to one of the top positions in the analyses of various attendance data in CTE programs.
Similar criteria are used in selecting postsecondary institutions.
How the Assessments Are Done
Additionally, a staff member from the (Utah) Division of Risk Management-- http://risk.utah.gov/ -- will conduct an onsite inspection of the facilities, typically weeks before USOE staff arrival, assessing for physical accessibility.
The intents of the reviews are to assist school districts and postsecondary institutions meet the civil rights requirements, to prevent future costly problems, and to offer technical assistance to the districts and postsecondary institutions where corrective actions are needed. Please see the recommended agenda that lists who is to be interviewed and the timing of interviews.
In preparation for the review, certain items need to be assembled well in advance of the onsite review for the review team. The list of items is found below in the document called Materials Checklist, one for secondary and another for postsecondary.
The list of items is to be in the possession of the Utah State Office of Education preferably one month before the review occurs. Each item from the district and postsecondary site is to be marked clearly using the same number and descriptor that appears on the checklist.
Additionally, the onsite review team uses, but is not limited to, a checklist as a guide for interviews. This item is called, Checklist for Onsite Civil Rights Reviews.
Finally, the reviews are not intended to penalize recipients for findings, but are designed to help find and fix issues regarding civil rights.
After the Onsite Review
The review team then compiles its findings and creates the first draft of the findings. The findings are summarized into a document called the Program and Procedures Improvement Plan (PPIP). The PPIP is mailed to the district CTE coordinator or postsecondary contact for review and response as well as to solicit any explanations as needed. This draft version of the PPIP is not to be viewed as a time to “negotiate things out of the PPIP,” but as a time to clear up any items on both sides – the reviewers and the recipients.
Once the draft PPIP process is completed, the review team creates the final PPIP. Unless the initial draft is accepted by both parties as the “operational” or final document (which is often the case), the final PPIP is then mailed to the CEO (superintendent or college president), to CTE director and coordinator, the school principal, the USOE state director of CTE, and USOE equity coordinator. Eventually, a copy is also mailed to the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
The School’s and Institution’s Response
The school is required to rectify noncompliance issues in a manner that meets the statutes. The school has a year or less depending upon the severity of the noncompliance issues to rectify the noncompliance issues.
If any item is incomplete, USOE is required to keep the file active and to conduct further follow-up reviews, training, etc.
Civil Rights Information Links
Updated October 14, 2013
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P.O. Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200