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Education Department Makes Changes to Office for Civil Rights Manual

The U.S. Department of Education has announced major changes in the Case Processing Manual (CPM) of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to ensure just and fair investigation of civil rights complaints by the students.

The department has removed the section 108(t) of the manual, making it compulsory for the OCR to investigate and resolve every complaint in consonance with the first amendment.

“Our top priority in the Office for Civil Rights is ensuring all students have equal access to education free from discrimination,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus said.

“Since joining the OCR team in June, I’ve reviewed our Case Processing Manual and received important and constructive feedback on it.  While we continue to work to improve the timeliness of OCR’s case processing, we have determined that additional revisions will help improve our work and allow us to be more responsive to students, stakeholders and our staff,” Marcus added.

The latest revision has also restored a system of appeals for the complainants and an opportunity for the recipient to respond to appeals.

The department has further decided to implement the post-case closure Quality Assurance Reviews at its 12 regional OCR offices to ensure quality in processing the complaints

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