Clarification of the Process for Addressing Complaints of Discrimination

The Maine Department of Education would like to clarify the process for addressing complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. requires that schools communicate with families in their primary language as much as possible regarding academic, extracurricular, and family engagement activities. Schools are also required to provide students who are English learners (ELs) with an effective language support program that:

  • is evidence-based;
  • is regularly evaluated and modified as needed;
  • enables ELs to meaningfully access grade-level curricula while acquiring English;
  • is designed and implemented by qualified, ESOL-endorsed staff;
  • does not unnecessarily separate ELs from their non-EL peers;
  • does not place ELs in a facility below the standard provided to their non-EL peers; and
  • does not provide ELs with educational materials below the standard provided to their non-EL peers.

The US Department of Justice and the US Department of Education have issued guidance for schools and families regarding Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Requirements for schools to provide translation/interpretation are described in this notice: Information for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Parents and Guardians and for Schools and School Districts that Communicate with Them. The January 7, 2015 Dear Colleague Letter outlines an EL’s educational rights.

To file a discrimination complaint, contact the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. A complaint may be submitted online or by downloading the complaint form and submitting it by mail or email. For more information and access to the online form and pdf, go to

If you have questions about this notice, please contact:

April Perkins
Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Office: (207)624-6627
Cell: (207)441-9043