Contents of the Act

The act states that no U.S. state can deny equal educational opportunity to any person on the basis of gender, race, color, or nationality through intentional segregation by an educational institution; neglecting to resolve intentional segregation; by forced assignment of a student to a school, other than the one closest to his or her place of residence, that promotes further segregation; by discrimination in determining faculty and staff; by purposely transferring a student to another school to increase segregation; or by failing to remove language barriers preventing students from being able to equally participating in English classes.

The act also states that lawsuits may also be filed should individuals believe themselves to be denied equal education from their peers. The U.S. attorney general is also allowed to initiate civil action on behalf of students should he deem it necessary.

Defining "Appropriate Action"
The act remains vague in its statutory language. The EEOA states that no state can deny students the right to equal education by "failure by an educational agency to take 'appropriate action' to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional programs". For example, although the act bears no mention of bilingual education, but instead uses the term "appropriate action" to describe measures Congress may take to enforce the EEOA, Congress has interpreted bilingual education as an action a school district must take to help teach non-English-speaking students how to speak English.