April 6, 2021
On April 6, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a new letter to students, educators, and stakeholders indicating the process that the Biden Administration will be undertaking on the issues surrounding the Title IX regulations. While light on details, the letter does provide a roadmap for OCR’s next steps and what colleges and universities can expect in the Title IX regulatory arena in the near future.
At a minimum, OCR’s letter is intended to provide information about the steps the Department is taking to carry out President Biden’s recent Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. (See Duane Morris’ write up on the Executive Order here) That Executive Order directed the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Attorney General, to review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other agency actions that may be inconsistent with the Biden Administration’s policies on discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, as well as discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.