The Title IX proposed revisions were released for public comment by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on the 50th anniversary of the law.
The proposed changes are expected to help K–12 and higher education implement Title IX legislation. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stated, “Every student deserves to learn free from discrimination or harassment regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
Under the proposed regulations, LGBTQI+ students would be protected from sex-based discrimination. But the proposed revisions do not address the most controversial issue now under debate—whether the law protects transgender students’ ability to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity. The Biden administration will go through a separate rulemaking process to address Title IX's application to athletics.
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a civil rights law, signed into existence by President Richard Nixon, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
While the act applied to all educational programs, it pioneered massive changes when it came to women’s participation in high school and college athletics. Now, it’s cutting into new territory as a means to protect LGBTQI+ students from sex-based discrimination.
Following are some notable ways in which the Title IX law has transformed schools over the last 50 years:
- Schools are required to have Title IX coordinators to look into cases of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and violence.
- Title IX protects gender discrimination in both curricular and extracurricular activities beyond athletics.
- Female participation in sports has grown dramatically—fewer than 300,000 women participated in high school sports in 1970 compared to approximately 3.5 million participating in 2019.
- The law has been invoked to protect against discrimination of sexual orientation and gender identification.
- The act has been used in recent years to advocate for transgender athletes.
Advocates say Title IX has come a long way these past 50 years, but there’s still work to be done.
The USDE spent over a year developing the proposals. The process drew thousands of public comments, including input from educators, students, and members of the public. The proposed regulations will advance Title IX’s goal of ensuring no person experiences sex discrimination, sex-based harassment, or sexual violence in education. A preliminary copy of the 700 pages of proposed rules is available. The official version will be published in the Federal Register.
Public comment for the proposed regulations will be open for 60 days after publication. After that date, the USDE will review comments and release the final rule.
Once published, comments can be submitted at the Federal Register’s website, regulations.gov.
To learn more about the proposed regulations, a USDE FACT SHEET is available.
Find more information about how to comply with Title IX in the following HRX articles:
Cheryl Hoover joined HR Services in 2018. She assists with staffing and HR reviews, training, and other HR projects. During Hoover’s public school career, she served as an executive director of curriculum and principal leadership, executive director of human resources, principal, assistant principal, teacher, and coach.
Hoover earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and obtained her master’s degree from Texas State University. She is a certified PHR.
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