By John Shields, PhD, MSW | December 13, 2019
Senior Research Scientist, ETR
The US Department of Education’s proposed regulations on Title IX recently took an important step forward in the adoption process and the regulations may become official policy in the next few weeks. The regulations are currently under final review by the Office of Management & Budget.
Once released, the new regulations will have the force of law. While it’s very likely that there will be a “grace period” to allow K-12 Districts to make required modifications to policies and procedures, it’s not clear how much time will be provided (e.g., it could be as short as 90 days).
Now is the time for K-12 Districts and Schools to consider in depth how they will remain in compliance with the new regulations. While many experts and observers predict that litigation against the proposed regulations will be initiated as soon as the new regulations are officially released, and while the courts may issue injunctions against the implementation of certain provisions, it’s now time to plan for their release.
We encourage K-12 Districts to consult their legal counsel on the proposed regulations. The following does not represent legal advice. From our perspective as consultants and researchers in the K-12 space, our analysis of the regulations yields several significant implications on Title IX infrastructure, practices, and compliance, including: significant procedural changes; increased notification requirements; enhanced staffing implications; a need for additional training; and funding issues.
Please note that this document provides information on the proposed regulations. There may be changes in the final regulations. ETR’s K12T9 Initiative will conduct another review once the regulations become official and update this information accordingly.
While the future of the proposed regulations is uncertain, their release seems more imminent than ever. We at the K12T9 Initiative hope this primer is useful to you as you contemplate mandated changes to your Title IX infrastructure, practices, and compliance. Please feel free to reach out with your questions, and we look forward to the possibility of supporting your District/School through this changing regulatory landscape.
John Shields, PhD, MSW, is a Senior Research Scientist and Director of the K12T9 Initiative at ETR. He leads ETR’s School-Based Health & Wellness program, which includes a wide range of research, evaluation and information technology projects within K-12 school districts. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.