LEAs that offer or administer Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education must meet certain program requirements. The TEA has the regulatory responsibility to ensure that CTE programs in Texas public secondary schools are accessible to all students. The TEA is required to adopt a civil rights compliance program to identify, remedy, and/or prevent discrimination in CTE programs operated by LEAs. The authority to conduct monitoring activities related to civil rights compliance is found in:
- Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, and Handicap in Vocational Education Programs, March 21, 1979 (34 CFR, Part 100, Appendix B).
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and implementing regulations (34 CFR, Part 100) which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the implementation of 28 CFR, Part 35.
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the implementation of 34 CFR, Part 106 which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex/gender.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and implementing regulations (34 CFR, Part 104) which prohibit discrimination on the basis of handicap.
- The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and implementing regulations (45 CFR, Part 90) which prohibit discrimination on the basis of age.
- Public Law 109-270, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.
Annual Notification of Nondiscrimination
One important requirement of the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (USDE-OCR) is that, prior to the beginning of each school year, every LEA providing CTE programs must advise students, parents, employees, and the general public that all CTE opportunities will be offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. Local newspapers or other media that reach the general public must be utilized to disseminate the required notification. Information regarding this requirement can found in Section IV - O of the Guidelines under Public Notification. English and Spanish versions of sample public notification forms that include all required elements for complying with this requirement are available for LEA use.
Program Access Review
The purpose of the on-site program access review (PAR) is to ensure that CTE programs in Texas public secondary schools are accessible to all students and public facilities on campuses housing CTE programs are accessible to all members of the public, as required by federal and state statute or regulation. The PAR will consist of two major components: (1) a review of program activities and documentation focused on the elimination of discrimination and the denial of services based upon race, color, national origin, sex, and handicap, and (2) a facility inspection focused on architectural barriers.
Facility reviews for architectural barriers will occur at those campuses and facilities that house programs/activities accessed by CTE students and the public, including public facilities such as stadiums and libraries. The facility review for architectural barriers will be conducted in accordance with the federal accessibility standards in effect on the construction date(s) for a facility and based on the presence of students with special needs and related staff located at the facility. The review will include an inspection of facilities by the TEA on-site team in conjunction with selected LEA personnel. LEA staff members that are responsible for facilities and facility maintenance are expected to be in attendance at the facility review. Federal accessibility standards are addressed in indicators that are examined during the PAR on-site review.
Findings from the PAR will result in the development of an Action Plan for Program Access by the LEA which must be approved and monitored by the TEA to ensure timely completion of corrective activities. Information resulting from the PAR will be provided to the USDE-OCR.
Intervention Guidance and Resources are available to assist LEAs participating in program access reviews.