Is your district in compliance with Title IX regulations?
ACSA online workshop designed for all Title IX Team Members
September 5, 2022
Title IX is the civil rights law signed by President Richard Nixon in 1972 that prohibited educational institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating against students and employees “on the basis of sex.”
In June, this landmark law celebrated 50 years of protecting women and girls’ equal access to education in areas including admission and athletics. It has also provided consistent progress toward an equitable educational environment by helping to reduce the frequency of sex discrimination and sexual harassment experienced in schools.
This summer, the U.S. Department of Education released proposed changes to Title IX regulations that will impact school districts. We asked Jacqueline M. Litra, partner at Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, to share what districts need to know about the proposed changes and how to comply with this federal law. Litra will also lead ACSA’s Title IX Team Compliance Training in November.
How often are there changes to Title IX? Title IX has not changed since 1972. It is unusual for the regulations implementing Title IX to be revised with the frequency we have seen the past few years. Prior to the revisions under the Trump administration, the Department of Education issued guidance and withdrew guidance on various topics with changes in administrations, including regarding Title IX. The changes in the Title IX regulations implemented under the Trump administration were a monumental shift in the interpretation and enforcement of Title IX. These changes have been incredibly burdensome for school districts across the country to implement.
What is the timeline for these new proposed rules to take effect? Public comments are due by Sept. 12, 2022. The department will review and address all of the comments received and will likely make some changes in response to the comments received. How long that takes depends on how many comments are received. The final rules will be published at least 60 days before going into effect. It is possible the final rule implementing the new proposed regulations would be in effect for the 2023-24 school year, but it could take until 2024 for the department to publish the final rule, meaning the effective date would likely be prior to the start of the 2024-25 school year.
What are a couple of big changes in the proposed rules that districts will need to be aware of? There are many significant changes coming in the new proposed regulations. Briefly, two big ones are: 1) the procedures will apply to ALL sex discrimination covered by Title IX, not just sexual harassment, e.g., pregnant and parenting students, discriminatory discipline, discriminatory counseling practices and employment discrimination; and 2) school districts will be able to return to a single investigator and decisionmaker model with a streamlined process. Under the new proposed regulations, the procedures will allow for a more expedient response time and will be less demanding on the complainants and respondents in the process and on district resources and staff.
What mistakes do districts make in their Title IX response and investigations, and how will this training help them avoid those mistakes? The first mistake districts make is being out of compliance with the basic requirements of the regulations. All districts are required to have Title IX sexual harassment grievance procedures, a properly trained Title IX Coordinator and Title IX team members, and accurate resources published and accessible. Another mistake is not recognizing when conduct is Title IX sexual harassment requiring the strict adherence to the required procedures. The existing Title IX regulations require districts to comply with a complex legal process with many opportunities for mistakes. Mishandling Title IX sexual harassment matters is another common mistake. The training brings schools in compliance with the training requirement imposed on them by Title IX. It will teach them to identify Title IX sexual harassment with hypothetical examples and practical discussion, and walk them through the complex procedural requirements at each phase of the procedures.
Who would you recommend takes this course? Title IX Coordinators and their Title IX team (Investigators, Decisionmakers, Appeal Decisionmakers and Informal Resolution Facilitators).
Is it for newcomers as well as those experienced with Title IX? Yes. The training is a necessity for anyone performing any of those roles if they have not already completed training required by law. Anyone responsible for their district’s Title IX compliance should attend this training.
Why is it important to have all Title IX Team Members attend this training? It’s important for consistent implementation of the district’s Title IX process for all team members to have a consistent understanding and to ensure compliance with Title IX.
Title IX Team Compliance Training
What: Training for Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decisionmakers/Appeal Decisionmakers and Informal Resolution Facilitators. When: 12-2 p.m. Nov. 1, 15, 29 Where: Virtual (ACSA Online Learning Center) Cost: $299 ACSA members Register:
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