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Legal Services

The Tennessee Department of Education, Division of Special Education (TSE/DSE), office of legal services is responsible for providing information and guidance to school districts and parents regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Tennessee Civil Rights Compliance - Facility Compliance

Career-Technical Education is mandated by law in the “Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006” to monitor the operations of school systems which receive federal funds in compliance with the applicable civil rights statutes. A targeting plan has been developed to determine which systems will be visited.  The visit will be conducted by a team of four to six well trained state personnel led by the Methods of Administration (MOA) coordinator.  Our role is to provide leadership as well as to monitor progress and to give assistance whenever needed.

The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights. We serve student populations facing discrimination and the advocates and institutions promoting systemic solutions to civil rights problems. OCR also provides technical assistance to help institutions achieve voluntary compliance with the civil rights laws that OCR enforces. Important parts of OCR’s technical assistance are partnerships designed to develop creative approaches to preventing and addressing discrimination.

The Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. These civil rights laws enforced by OCR extend to all state education agencies that receive U.S. Department of Education funds. OCR also has responsibilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (prohibiting disability discrimination by public entities, whether or not they receive federal financial assistance).

Self-Assessment Checklist

Due Process Hearings

Special Education: Rules & Regulations

  • Federal Regulations Part B 34 CFR 300 2-14-13 || pdf
  • Federal Regulations Part B 34 CFR 300 8-14-06 || pdf
  • Federal Regulations Part B 34 CFR 300 12-1-08 || pdf
  • State Regulations Part B 0520-1-9 Updated 8-28-09 || pdf