Re: GEPA requirements

KatherinH (
Fri, 3 Oct 1997 10:02:38 -0400

Barb--I'm sharing this with our regional comprehensive assistance center for new
england--i would think this is an issue that has or should come up with the
centers as well. I would agree with your argument that we cannot ensure equal
educational opportunities unless we know who's in the programs, how we're
addressing the needs of individuals and groups of students, and what the impact
of our efforts are. This would seem to be in line with therequirements that
states prepare comprehensive education plans. One thing I remain concerned
about is that, while there often is an understanding of the need to look at data
in terms of race, language, SES, and sometimes disability, there often is not an
awareness of how gender impacts/intersects with these. So that the critical
issues for specific groups of males or females within the different categories
are overlooked or masked. I think you've raised some key questions, and look
forward to hearing what others have to say.

Katherine Hanson
WEEA Equity Resource Center at EDC

I am writing to find out if anyone else has explored with top
administrative staff in your state education agency the meaning, or
specific requirements, of the GEPA 427 requirement passed as a part
of IASA in 1994 and to be part of every federal grant program in

Section 427 of the General Provisions Act states:
a. The purpose of this section is to assist the Department in
implementing the Department's mission to ensure equal access to
education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation
1. ensuring equal educational opportunities to participate for all
eligible students, teachers and other program beneficiaries in any
project or activity carried out under an applicable program; and
2. promoting the ability of such students, teachers and beneficiaries
to meet high standards.

b. The Secretary shall require each applicant for assistance under an
applicable program (other than an individual) to develop and describe
in such applicant's application the steps such applicant proposes to
take to ensure equitable access to, and equitable participation in,
the project or activity to be conducted with such assistance, by
addressing the special needs of students, teachers, and other program
beneficiaries in order to overcome barriers to equitable
participation, including barriers based on gender, race, national
origin (includes limited English proficiency), color, disability and

As the equity specialist I am arguing that the the language while not
stating explicitly that we must collect all data by race , sex,
disability etc., implies that we must in order to ensure that
equitable participation is in fact occurring. Others argue that the
language is very weak and really does not require anything more than
an assurance of equal access and participation by our sub-recipients
and ourselves as an SEA.

My current quest is for:
1. any interpretations or guidance from the Dept. of ED that I may
have missed.
2. any advice from what you are doing in your state.
3. any list of arguments you may have developed about what GEPA 427
requires and why .
4. anything I can't think of right now related to GEPA 427.

Thank you in advance for helping me out.

Barbara A. Bitters, Team Leader
Equity Mission Team
WI Dept. of Public Instruction
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
phone 608-266-9609
fax 608-267-1052

new message to this message