Protecting Student Rights

In order to receive federal funding for Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs (also known as the Perkins V Grant), CTE programs must abide by federal guidelines that were created to protect students’ rights. DC CTE’s Methods of Administration (MOA) program ensures that all students, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability, have equal access to high-quality CTE programs. We do this by supporting the schools that participate in our state-approved CTE programs in understanding students’ rights, conducting targeted compliance reviews, implementing corrective action when civil rights violations are found, and periodically reporting civil rights activities and findings to the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

Students, Do You Know Your Civil Rights?

In the CTE world, students should never have to experience any form of discrimination, and this is a right protected under federal law. Student civil rights protect students from being discriminated against on the basis of sex, gender, race, country of origin, sexual orientation, ability or disability, religion, and appearance. Organizations such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Women’s Equity Action League have advocated for these rights for students since the 1970s (back when CTE was known as “vocational education”).

Today in DC, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and DC CTE ensure that schools participating in our CTE programs understand how to uphold student civil rights by offering procedures and training. Local schools are responsible for understanding and enforcing the procedures. Check your school’s website for more detailed policies on their discrimination procedures. Information may be found in a parent handbook, bullying policy, or policies on discrimination. If you need more help locating civil rights information, you can always ask your school counselor.

Who to Contact for Assistance with Civil Rights

If you have a grievance, want to file a complaint, or need assistance related to civil rights compliance, please find your school or district on the list below and follow the link to get started. If you have further questions or need assistance, please reach out to your school’s counselor.

What You Should Know as a CTE Educator

Schools and districts should celebrate the diversity of their students with respect and acknowledgement. Explore the resources below to better understand student civil rights and learn how to implement them to create high-quality CTE programs. DC CTE is here to help educators and schools implement these resources, please reach out to Joe Green for further assistance at

Student Rights

  • All students have the right to reasonable access to Career & Technical Education (CTE) classes, their common spaces, and entry and exit ways.
  • It cannot be assumed that a student is incapable of or unqualified to pursue any particular CTE program of study based on their race, gender, disability, or ethnic origin.

Putting Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion Into Practice

Please visit our Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion page to access program information and resources related to these topics.

Methods of Administration Review Process & State Plan

This powerpoint provides an overview of the Methods of Administration (MOA) review process. Please reference the deck, which defines key MOA terms. The MOA review process, from beginning to end, is further detailed in the MOA State Plan.

MOA Sample Review Materials

The History Behind Our Work

Learn more about the legislation we uphold:

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