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Programs > Equity Assurance
Equity Assurance and Compliance Office



The Equity Assurance and Compliance Office, housed within the Office of the Deputy State Superintendent for Finance and Administration, assures that the Maryland State Department of Education is in compliance with pertinent federal and state civil rights in education and employment laws and regulations. The office also provides technical assistance to employees of MSDE and Maryland's 24 school systems regarding compliance with the various laws and regulations. The Maryland State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, creed, gender identity and expression, genetic information, marital status, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation in matters affecting employment or in providing access to programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

External Responsibility

& Assure equal educational opportunities for all Maryland students in compliance with the following federal and state laws:

& Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (regarding race, color,
    or national origin)
& The Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973
& The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended.
& Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
    For additional information, click on the link below
    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
& Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974
& The Age Discrimination Act of 1975
& The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.04.05,
     Education That Is Multicultural
& COMAR 13A.08.01.16, School Integration
& COMAR 13A.07.05.01, Assignment of Personnel
& Equal Access to Public School Facilities for the Boy Scouts of
    America and Other Designated Youth Groups

Internal Responsibility

& Assure MSDE is in compliance with various state and federal equal employment opportunity laws:

& Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with regard to race,   
     national origin, gender, and religion
& The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended.

& The Governor's Code of Fair Employment Practices
& Department of Budget and Management,
     Office of the Statewide Equal Employment
     Opportunity Coordinator
& The Equal Pay Act of 1963
& Age Discrimination in Employment Act
& State Personnel and Pensions Article, Title 5
Title 20, MD State Government, Annotated Code of Maryland
     (Click on State Government and then Title 20)

& Numerous other state and federal laws that govern equity in

The Agency Equity Officer consults with the Fair Practices Officer regarding equity issues, and MSDE policy and procedure. The office investigates employee or applicant complaints of illegal employment discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, color, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, and any illegal employment activity that is covered by federal or state law.

Internal and External

& Provide training and technical assistance on issues such as:

& impact of EEO regarding interview and selection skills
& preventing and addressing harassment based on a
    protected classification
& disability awareness and sensitivity
& infusing education that is multicultural into the curriculum, 
    instruction, and staff development
& diversity and cultural awareness and proficiency
& strategies to increase minority student achievement
& gender equity issues

Multicultural/Equity Resource Center

The office houses a multicultural/equity resource center of books, CD's, and other materials that cover a wide range of equity issues. These materials are available for loan to all 24 school systems and MSDE employees.

For More Information or Inquiries

Equity Assurance and Compliance Office
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Renée E. Yarbough-Williams, Agency Equity Officer

Equity Office Fax - 410-767-0431
TTY/TDD - 410-333-6442

Federal Law
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI prohibits discrimination against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs receiving federal funds. Title VI and related case law prohibit discrimination on the basis of race in student admissions, student access to courses and programs, and student policies and their application. Discrimination against national origin minorities on the basis of limited English skills is also prohibited by Title VI case law. Any institution or agency receiving federal funds is covered by Title VI. Most education activities of a recipient agency or institution are covered including activities or programs not in direct receipt of federal funds. It was the language of Title VI that provided the model for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. All institutions or agencies with 15 or more employees -- including state and local government and labor organizations -- are covered under the amended Act. Title VII prohibits discrimination practices in all terms and conditions of employment, including:

Ø recruitment, selection, assignment, transfer, layoff, discharge, 
   and recall
Ø opportunities for promotion
Ø in-service training or development opportunities
Ø wages and salaries
Ø sick leave time and pay
Ø vacation time and pay
Ø overtime work and pay
Ø medical, hospital, life, and accident insurance
Ø retirement plans and benefits
Ø pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
Ø other staff benefits

A substantial body of case law and legal precedent has been developed under Title VII. This provides many currently accepted standards for nondiscrimination in employment.

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 expands remedies available under Title VII to include, in addition to back pay and attorney fees, limited compensatory and punitive damages for intentional discrimination and harassment.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex against students and employees of education programs and activities receiving federal funds. The Title IX regulation prohibits sex discrimination in such areas as:

Ø admission to vocational, graduate, professional, and public 
   undergraduate schools
Ø student access to courses and programs
Ø counseling and guidance tests, materials, and practices
Ø physical education and athletics
Ø vocational education programs
Ø student rules and policies
Ø treatment of married and/or pregnant students
Ø financial assistance
Ø student housing
Ø extracurricular activities
Ø sexual harassment

Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Title V of the Rehabilitation Act has seven sections that deal with employment, elimination of physical barriers, and nondiscrimination in the provision of services to and employment of disabled persons. This Act is parallel to sex and race requirements found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Section 501 requires affirmative action in hiring, placement and advancement of disabled individuals in the executive branch of the federal government. Section 502 requires barrier-free construction in accordance with PL 90-480 Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 in federal and federally financed buildings, parks, transportation, etc. Section 503 requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified disabled persons by any contractor or sub-contractor with the federal government having a contract in excess of $2,500. Section 504 requires nondiscrimination and provision of services and equal employment opportunity in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance and in all agencies of the executive branch of the federal government. Schools and education programs must be organized in such a way as to allow disabled students to participate with other students in school classes and activities from which they can benefit. Section 505 procedures for enforcing the Civil Rights Act are provided by this section to enforce Section 501 and Section 504. Section 506 provides that the Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to provide or contract for technical assistance to rehabilitation facilities and public or non-profit organizations for the purpose of eliminating architectural and transportation barriers. Section 507 establishes an inter-agency coordinating counsel made up of the regulatory authorities for Title V. This purpose is to promote efficiency and eliminate duplication and inconsistency in the various regulatory agencies.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended
The ADA establishes a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability in all areas of an individual's life. It outlaws discrimination in employment, state and local government services, pubic accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended
This Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants for employment who are at least 40 years of age because of their age. The Act also prohibits retaliation against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA.

Age Discrimination Act of 1975 - Prohibits age discrimination in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex discrimination in salaries. All employees of education institutions and agencies, including those in professional, executive, and administrative positions are covered by the Equal Pay Act.

The Act provides that a man and a woman working for the same employer under similar conditions in jobs requiring substantially equivalent skills, effort, and responsibility must be paid equally even when job titles and assignments are not identical.

Employers are required to maintain specified records relevant to the determination of possible violations to the law.

Maryland State Law
Title 13A State Board of Education, Subtitle 07 School Personnel, Chapter 05, Assignment of Personnel, .01 Integration - COMAR 13A.07.05.01

Established that local boards of education shall develop and implement plans and procedures for the attainment of racial balance at the various levels of the public school system reflective of the composition of the population of their respective jurisdictions. These plans and procedures shall apply to the hiring, placing and promotion of all personnel employed at the various levels of the school system.

Title 13A State Board of Education, Subtitle 08 Students, Chapter 01, General Regulations, .16 Integration - COMAR 13A.08.01.16
Established the State's desegregation policy. The State Department of Education must assure compliance and report violations to the State Board of Education. The organization of school activities shall provide for the involvement of students regardless of sex, race, creed, or national origin.

Title 13A State Board of Education, 13A.04.05, Education That Is Multicultural
This regulation is intended to guarantee success for Maryland students by pursuing equity and quality in education. The regulation provides guidelines for implementing education that is multicultural and establishes goals that impact curriculum, instruction, professional development and educational resources utilized in the classroom. The regulations direct schools throughout the state to implement programs and staff development that will enhance instruction and student achievement.

Education that is multicultural is a continuous, integrated, multiethnic, multidisciplinary process for educating students about diversity and commonality. Diversity factors include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, language, socioeconomic status, region, disabilities, and age. The goal of the regulation is to better prepare students to lead successful lives and better participate in a globally oriented society.

State Personnel and Pensions, Title 2, Subtitle 3, §2-302
Provides that employees and applicants for employment be given fair opportunity to pursue their careers in an environment free of discrimination or harassment prohibited by law and prohibits employment discrimination and harassment by State managers, supervisors, or other employees.

State Personnel and Pensions, Title 5
Established a State Equal Employment Opportunity Program under the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management and within each principal unit in Maryland State Government. Also spells out state employee rights and protections under the Maryland Whistleblower Law.

Title 20, MD State Government, Annotated Code of Maryland
Established The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission seeks to eliminate discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity and expression, physical or mental disability, and age. Maryland anti-discrimination statutes for housing, employment, and public accommodations are administered and enforced by the Commission. It also initiates and investigates complaints of discrimination in State government agencies.

Governor's Code of Fair Employment Practices
Maryland State Executive Order 01.01.1995.19 defines the State's Equal Employment Opportunity Program and it's obligation to provide a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, creed, marital status, genetic information, gender identity and expression, mental or physical disability, national origin, religious affiliation, belief or opinion, race, sex, sexual orientation, or any other non merit factor. This executive order strictly governs State government employees only.


Page Updated:07.31.2015

Contact Information
Equity Assurance and Compliance Office
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0426
TTY/TDD:  410-333-6442
Fax:  410-767-0431
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