U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance to Ensure that All Students have Equal Access to Educational Resources

Last Updated: January 06, 2015

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The Department of Education's Office of Civil Right (OCR) guidance is a follow-up to the administration's larger equity agenda and takes into account the ongoing efforts of states, school districts, and schools to improve equity. All students--regardless of race, color, national origin, or zip code--deserve a high-quality education that includes resources such as academic and extracurricular programs, strong teaching, technology and instructional materials, and safe school facilities.

The Rural School and Community Trust has played an instrumental role in the Department of Education's effort to ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources. Between 2011 and 2013, the Rural Trust's Executive Director, Dr. Doris Terry Williams served on the Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission. The Commission examined the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap, with a focus on systems of finance and recommend ways in which federal policies could address such disparities. The Commission also recommended ways to restructure school finance systems to achieve equity in the distribution of educational resources and further student achievement and attainment.

Read the Office of Civil Rights Fact Sheet here: OCR Fact Sheet (English) or here: OCR Fact Sheet (Spanish)

To read the full Office of Civil Rights letter, please visit: Dear Colleague Letter

For background on the Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission, please visit: Rural Trust Executive Director Appointed to Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission

To read the Equity and Excellence Commission's report to the Secretary, please click: For Each and Every Child

To learn more about narrowing the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers, you may want to view The Statisticks Lottery