Final Title IX ruling sent to White House for approval after delay

A final ruling on updates to Title IX, the federal civil rights law prohibiting sex-based discrimination at federally funded schools, was sent to the White House Friday for review.

Potential updates to the law could determine how schools respond to sexual misconduct and codify protections for transgender students.

The Education Department sent the regulation to the Office of Management and Budget on Friday, and if approved, could unravel policies put in place under former Education Secretary Betsy Devos — who narrowly tailored the definition of sexual misconduct, and made sure schools performed live hearings during investigations related to the matter. 

The development comes after the Biden administration said in December that it would finalize the updates related to Title IX by March this year, almost a year after blowing past the first proposed deadline. 

A separate proposal regarding transgender student-athletes is also expected to be unveiled by March, according to an Education Department

Even if passed, implementation of any changes will hinge on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. According to its website, the period for the review is 90 days. It could get extended, but there is no minimum period for review. 

The delay in crystalizing the rule has sparked criticism from Democrats in Congress and advocacy groups. In a late November letter directed to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, over 60 Democrats in the lower chamber urged the department to finalize the update. 

The finalization of the rule could assist President Biden in his quest to be reelected to the Oval Office come November.

Biden, who is likely to square up against former President Trump, the current GOP front-runner, promised to quickly alter the Trump administration’s Title IX regulations during his 2020 campaign.

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