Department of Education Updates Title IX Rule
On June 23, the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Biden Administration released a new rule (read the fact sheet) for how colleges should respond to cases of sexual harassment.
Title IX is the law that protects students, faculty, and staff from sex-based discrimination in education programs that receive federal aid. Since its inception, it has opened scores of opportunities in classrooms, athletic fields, and elsewhere on campus for traditionally underrepresented students. However, the rule has been silent until now on how to protect students that identify as LGBTQ+ as well as pregnant students and employees.
The administration’s proposal would extend Title IX protections to these students and employees, ensuring a safe learning and working environment. In addition to extending prohibitions of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the new rule would
- Expand coverage to behavior that occurs in education programs off campus, including out of the country (i.e., study abroad or other programs).
- Expand mandatory reporting requirements to all employees at colleges that operate an educational program who have knowledge of an instance of sex discrimination.
- Create new eligibility for retroactive complaints after a student leaves an educational program due to an instance of discrimination.
- Require “prompt time frames” for investigating cases of discrimination.
- Require colleges to allow students who participate in a live hearing to do so remotely if they choose.
The new rule would also permit students to use bathrooms marked for the gender they identify with; dress the way they prefer; be referred to by their preferred pronouns; and be protected from gender-based bullying.
Potential rules relating to the rights of transgender students in school sports will be released later.
This is the first step towards implementing this rule. The Department is accepting comments from interested parties for the next 60 days via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. The Department will review these comments and may incorporate some of them into the final rule, which is expected sometime in 2023.
AACTE will keep its members informed of any developments related to the proposed Title IX rule.