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Title IX Rule Change Delay Keeps Victims Waiting, Advocates Say

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona plans to unveil proposed Title IX rule changes in June, a two-month delay from the Biden administration's plan to release them in April, Politico reports. “The Department is taking the time necessary to ensure that schools are providing students with educational environments free from discrimination,” a department spokesperson said. Further delaying a proposed rule means former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' policy will stay in effect longer. The rule, say advocates and Title IX investigators, has exacerbated students' wait times, which can be months or years, for resolutions to complaints. And its court-like hearings and narrower definition of sexual harassment have deterred many students from filing formal Title IX complaints — a fear advocates expressed when DeVos unveiled her rule.

Supporters of the DeVos rule are urging the Education Department to leave it alone. A coalition of 26 organizations, led by the Defense of Freedom Institute, an advocacy group led by former DeVos Education Department officials, have urged the department to halt its plans to overhaul the rule. In Congress, Republicans have taken issue with an expected update to the rule, which would clarify that sex-based discrimination protections also apply to gender identity and sexual orientation. The longer it takes the agency to finalize Cardona’s Title IX rule — depending on the midterm elections — the more likely a future GOP majority in Congress could use the Congressional Review Act, which gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to overturn major rules issued by federal agencies.


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