[Wsssc] New OCR Office at US Department of Education

Joe Holliday jholliday at sbctc.edu
Thu Jan 23 08:16:55 PST 2020

Colleagues: we are monitoring this, as is the State Attorney General's Office. Just an FYI for now, below...

DeVos Creates New Unit for 'Proactive' Civil Rights Enforcement

The Trump administration is creating a new unit at the Education Department that's meant to help schools and colleges "proactively" comply with federal civil rights laws before they're hit with complaints.
The new Outreach, Prevent, Education and Non-discrimination Center, or OPEN Center, will be housed in the Office for Civil Rights, the department said. The team of lawyers will provide "targeted support" to school districts and colleges about their obligations under federal civil rights laws.
"The OPEN Center underscores OCR's efforts to support all schools and provide technical assistance to help them come into compliance with federal civil rights law prior to the filing of a complaint," DeVos said in a statement. Kenneth Marcus, the assistant secretary for civil rights, said the new effort "is all about strengthening civil rights compliance through voluntary, proactive activities."
Christian Corrigan, who is now senior counsel in the Office for Civil Rights, will serve as the center's acting director, according to the department.
The context: Congressional Democrats have repeatedly criticized the Education Department's approach to civil rights during the Trump administration, arguing that DeVos has scaled back and weakened enforcement.

Joe Holliday
Director, Student Services
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
jholliday at sbctc.edu<mailto:jholliday at sbctc.edu>* o: 360-704-4334 * f: 360-704-4418
sbctc.edu<https://www.sbctc.edu/> * Twitter: @SBCTCWashington<https://twitter.com/SBCTCWashington> * Facebook: @WASBCTC<https://www.facebook.com/wasbctc/>

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