The Vocational Education Programs Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Handicap (34 C.F.R. Part 100, Appendix B), referred to as “The Guidelines”, require each state education agency to adopt a compliance program to prevent, identify and remedy discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or handicap by its local education agencies (LEAs). Under these guidelines and adopted procedures, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) is mandated to conduct on-site compliance reviews annually of PK-12 LEAs that provide career and technical education programs and receive federal financial assistance. These reviews are conducted to determine whether school divisions are meeting the requirements of the following civil rights laws:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, and national origin) 34 CFR Part 100
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting discrimination based on sex) 34 CFR Part 106
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (prohibiting discrimination based on disability) 34 CFR Part 104
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (prohibiting discrimination based on disability) 28 CFR Part 35
As the state education agency responsible for assisting the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the accomplishment of its mission, the WDPI selects LEAs based on a target plan pre-approved by the OCR. This plan is designed to identify school divisions with the greatest potential for noncompliance with civil rights laws.
The purposes of the WDPI's Civil Rights Compliance (CRC) Program are to provide a quality education for every child by:
- Ensuring that all students experience equal access, opportunities, guidance, support, and success in every aspect of their pre-k-12 public education;
- Fulfilling obligations of state education agencies (DPI) and assisting schools, districts, and educators to embrace the requirements and spirit of federal civil rights laws and Wisconsin's Methods of Administration (MOA) required by the "Guidelines" of 1976.
- Providing information, samples, or assistance regarding "best practices" in civil rights, nondiscrimination, and educational equity and diversity.