The Biden administration has pushed back the deadline for proposed updates to Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, according to a new U.S. Department of Education agenda.
The initial proposal, which was released on the 50th anniversary of the law in June 2022, would protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. It would also strengthen protections for victims of sexual assault and clarify and confirm protection from retaliation for students, employees, and others who exercise their Title IX rights.
In addition, a separate proposal issued in April would prevent universal bans on transgender athletes. Although the proposal would prevent schools from categorically banning transgender students from participating in athletic teams that align with their gender identity, the regulation allows for restrictions in highly competitive sports at the high school and college levels.
Before the latest agenda, the final change was expected in May, with a deadline extended to October after receiving more than 200,000 public comments.
Democrats in Congress and advocacy organizations are pressing the presidential administration on the delay. In a signed November 30 letter, representatives point to weakened protections for sexual assault and harassment survivors and confusion over student protections under new Title IX policies under former President Donald Trump.
“We appreciate the hard work put into updating the draconian Trump-era Title IX rule and other Title IX policies and know the Biden Administration shares our concern for student safety and wellbeing,” the letter said. “We request an updated timeline and urge you to dedicate all necessary resources to finalize these rules as soon as possible.”