OCR's FY2020 Annual Report

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US Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is pleased to release its Annual Report to the Secretary, the President, and the Congress for fiscal year 2020. The Annual Report summarizes enforcement achievements and policy priorities of FY-2020—and highlights the significant progress made over the course of the past four years of the Trump Administration (2017-2020) in strengthening civil rights enforcement in districts, schools, and campuses across this nation.

OCR’s proper re-orientation as neutral civil rights law enforcement agency dedicated to full and faithful execution of the law resulted in historic complaint resolution rates, increased compliance in schools, and long-awaited relief for students and families.  I am immensely proud of the hard work of our dedicated staff.

In FY 2020, OCR continued to drastically outpace the complaint investigation and case resolution and significantly reduced the backlog of civil rights complaints inherited from the previous administration, while also bringing about timely and meaningful change at thousands of schools, to the benefit of students and families across the nation. As a result of its efforts, FY2020 was the fourth consecutive fiscal year in which the number of case resolutions outpaced the number of complaints received.

Among OCR’s many accomplishments, key initiatives, and successes of this fiscal year include the following:

  • Resolving 10,185 complaints, with more than 2,000 of these resolutions requiring the school to make substantive changes to better protect their students’ civil rights – totals which significantly outpaced previous administrations;
  • Announcing the Department’s new Title IX Final Rule, an historic effort to strengthen Title IX protections for survivors of sexual harassment, while restoring due process in campus proceedings;
  • Resolving a directed investigation requiring the University of Southern California to make sweeping reforms to the way it addresses sexual harassment in light of its mishandling of sexual misconduct by Dr. George Tyndall;
  • Completing one of its largest comprehensive compliance reviews ever into systemic sexual assault problems at Pennsylvania State University, requiring the University to significantly revise its handling of reports of sexual harassment in light of its treatment of complaints against Coach Jerry Sandusky;
  • Including new questions in OCR’s biennial Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) designed to identify incidents of sexual misconduct perpetrated by school staff or personnel, the first universal data collection to systematically gather teacher-on-student sexual misconduct data systemically by school district;
  • After recognizing a 208% increase in sexual violence complaints at the K-12 level between FY 2010 and FY 2019, and on the heels of OCR’s FY 2019 investigation into Chicago Public Schools revealing a disturbing pattern of student-on-student and staff-on-student sexual violence, announcing a new Title IX initiative aimed at combatting sexual violence in at the elementary and secondary levels; and
  • Establishing a new Outreach, Prevention, Education, and Non-discrimination (OPEN) Center, focused on strengthening proactive civil rights compliance.

I am tremendously pleased with OCR’s accomplishments this year and over the last four years of the Trump Administration, and it has been an honor and a privilege to work with the dedicated staff of OCR. Together, we have achieved better results for children and families and made tangible, positive differences in the lives of our nation’s students.

OCR’s FY2020 annual report is available here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/ocr/report-to-president-and-secretary-of-education-2020.pdf

For copies of past FY annual reports, please visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/congress.html


Kimberly M. Richey
Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights