Department of Education Issues Q&A on Title IX Regulations
On July 20, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a questions-and-answers (Q&A) resource. According to a press release from OCR, “the Q&A clarifies how OCR interprets schools’ existing obligations under the 2020 amendments” and includes an appendix, which “responds to schools’ requests for examples of Title IX procedures that may be adaptable to their own circumstances and helpful in implementing the 2020 amendments.”
The Q&A resource document answers a variety of questions relating to the 2020 amendments, including general obligations for institutions, the definition and handling of cases of sexual harassment, and the process of resolving formal complaints.
The Q&A document comes after the OCR’s April 6 announcement that outlined plans to review the Trump administration’s final rule on Title IX. The review plan includes a public hearing, which was held from June 7 to 11, this Q&A resource, and an eventual notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the 2020 regulations. Though the NPRM has not yet been issued, the notice will provide individuals, organizations and institutions an additional opportunity to share their views through a formal notice-and-comment period once released.
In the press release, OCR states that the Q&A issued and the agency’s actions continue “to ensure that schools are providing students with educational environments free from sex discrimination, including sexual violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” This policy is consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) titled “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” which specifically directs the secretary of education to conduct a review of the Trump administration’s regulations, and calls for the secretary to “consider suspending, revising, or rescinding” any agency actions relating to the 2020 regulations if they are deemed inconsistent with the Biden administration’s policy set forth in the EO.
CUPA-HR will continue to keep members updated on new agency actions as OCR continues their review of the Title IX regulations.