On June 23, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) addressing the protections against sex discrimination in educational settings, the United States Department of Education announced significant proposed amendments to the Title IX regulations. According to the USDOE, the proposed amendments will do the following:
- Clearly protect students and employees from all forms of sex discrimination.
- Provide full protection from sex-based harassment.
- Protect the right of parents and guardians to support their elementary and secondary schoolchildren.
- Require schools to take prompt and effective action to end any sex discrimination in their education programs or activities – and to prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.
- Protect students and employees who are pregnant or have pregnancy-related conditions.
- Require schools to respond promptly to all complaints of sex discrimination with a fair and reliable process that includes trained, unbiased decisionmakers to evaluate the evidence.
- Require schools to provide supportive measures to students and employees affected by conduct that may constitute sex discrimination, including students who have brought complaints or been accused of sex-based harassment.
- Protect LGBTQI+ students from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
- Clarify and confirm protection from retaliation for students, employees and others who exercise their Title IX rights.
- Improve the adaptability of the regulations’ grievance procedure requirements so that all recipients can implement Title IX’s promise of nondiscrimination fully and fairly in their educational environments.
- Ensure that schools share their nondiscrimination policies with all students, employees and other participants in their education programs or activities.
This initiative began with President Joe Biden’s issuance of Executive Order 14201 on March 8, 2021, which can be found here.
The unofficial version of the proposed regulations can be found here.
However, for those not quite ready to tackle all 700 pages of proposal regulations, the USDOE has provided a helpful Fact Sheet and Summary Chart breaking down the proposals.
What happens next? The proposed regulations will be posted in the Federal Register and the public will have 60 days to provide comments. After the 60-day comment period, the USDOE will consider all comments and then begin drafting the final version of the regulations. No time line has been provided for when the final regulations will be issued. However, district personnel and board members may use this opportunity to familiarize themselves with the proposed changes to ensure that school district policies will be Title IX compliant.
Stay tuned to NJSBA and School Board Notes for information as it becomes available. Any questions on your board’s policies and the proposed regulations should be addressed to your board attorney. General informational questions can be posed to NJSBA Legal Information Services at 609-278-5279.