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As of January 31, 2023, there are 4842 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 473 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 3 of 3 Recommendations, including 1 Priority Recommendations

K-12 Education: Education Needs to Address Significant Quality Issues with its Restraint and Seclusion Data

2 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Office for Civil Rights for the Department of Education
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights should identify the factors that cause underreporting and misreporting of restraint and seclusion and take steps to help school districts overcome these issues. (Recommendation 5)

Education agreed with this recommendation and stated that it would determine the best means to implement it. As of March 2022, the agency took steps to address this recommendation by providing instructions to data submitters on when to report zeros. However, these steps do not enable the agency to identify the factors causing the under-and misreporting of data. In June 2022, the agency reported that it would analyze trend data from past years. It is unclear how the agency will learn of causal factors without working with school districts to determine what is driving the under and misreporting

Office for Civil Rights for the Department of Education The Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights should further refine and clarify federal restraint and seclusion definitions and take steps to ensure that this information is conveyed to school districts. This could include providing common classroom scenarios that highlight the differences between a restraint and an escort, and a time out and a seclusion. (Recommendation 6)

Education agreed with this recommendation. In summer 2021, OCR conducted listening sessions with school administrators, teachers, education groups, advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders to obtain feedback on the CRDC definitions of mechanical restraint, physical restraint, and seclusion. Based on that feedback, OCR developed revised definitions and included those revisions in the 2021-22 CRDC Information Collection Request package, which was published in the Federal Register for public comment. OCR will review comments received on the proposed definitions for restraint and seclusion

High School Sports: Many Schools Encouraged Equal Opportunities, but Education Could Further Help Athletics Administrators under Title IX

1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Office for Civil Rights for the Department of Education The Department of Education's Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights should determine the extent to which Title IX coordinators at the K-12 level are aware of and using the tools recommended in OCR's existing guidance and any barriers preventing their use of this guidance, and use this information in OCR's efforts to encourage them to work with athletics administrators on ensuring equal athletic opportunities. (Recommendation 1)

In November 2018, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) sent an e-mail to its Regional Directors to inform them of GAO's report, remind them of the importance of coordination between Title IX coordinators and athletics administrators, and encourage them to look for opportunities in their investigations and compliance work to examine the role of Title IX coordinators at the K-12 level. As of May 2022, the agency had not contacted Title IX coordinators directly about working with athletics administrators and rescinded the Dear Colleague Letters encouraging Title IX coordinators to work with

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For questions about a specific recommendation, contact the person or office listed with the recommendation. For general information about recommendations, contact GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office at (202) 512-6100 or