Title IX: Past, Present & Future

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972

By: Amanda Clapp Esq., Neola President and Board Chair

Title IX has far-reaching implications for all aspects of education, including access to educational opportunities, safety, and the prevention of sexual harassment and violence.

In 1980 the U.S. Department of Education (ED) began operating and was given oversight of Title IX through the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). ED continues to be the overseeing entity of the Title IX Regulations, the OCR is the investigative body and the United States Supreme Court has ruled on several cases that provided interpretations to clarify the protections under the Title IX Regulations.

Title IX has been a driving force in promoting gender equity in education and historically the ED and OCR have issued policy guidance and reminders for Districts regarding their responsibilities and obligations pursuant to the Title IX Regulations.

In August 2020, Secretary of Education DeVos enacted several changes to the Title IX Regulations and these are still the active regulations and Districts must be in compliance with the provisions of this enacted rule.

On the Fiftieth Anniversary of Title IX, the Biden Administration announced its intent to revise the 2020 Title IX Regulations and on July 12, 2022, provided a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to offer revisions to the Title IX regulations.  The 2023 Title IX Regulations is 190 pages and garnered 238,980 public comments.  

The ED has announced it will issue the final rules in October 2023.

Some key changes in the proposed rule that Neola anticipates will have policy impacts include the following:

  • Broadening the Definition of Sexual Harassment and Define “Sex-Based Harassment”
  • Expanding Implications of Off-Campus Conduct
  • Responding to Sex Discrimination
  • Requiring training of all Employees
  • Providing More Flexibility in the Decision Process on Complaints, Including Removing the Requirement for Live Hearings and Cross-Examination
  • Expanding the Boundaries of Supportive Services
  • Clarifying and Confirm Protection from Retaliation for Students, Employees, and Others who Exercise their Title IX Rights
  • Prohibiting Exclusion Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Sex Characteristics
  • Clarifying that Recipients Must Protect Students and Employees from Discrimination Based on Pregnancy or Related Conditions

Upon publication and enactment of the 2023 Title IX Regulations, Neola will make appropriate revisions to Policy 2266 – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities and the corresponding 2266 Administrative Procedure – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities to align the content with the changes to the rule.

As Neola looks to the future, it is clear that Title IX will continue to be a critical tool to provide all students with access to safe and supportive educational environments.

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