In a May 26 blog post, the U.S. Education Department announced that it does not expect to issue final Title IX regulations until October. ED is updating its Spring Unified Agenda to reflect this change. Previously, the Spring Unified Agenda targeted this month for a final Title IX rule.
The delay is not surprising given that ED is still processing and forming responses to the more than 240,000 comments that were filed in the rulemaking process. The blog post notes that “carefully considering and reviewing these comments takes time, and is essential to ensuring the final rule is enduring.” The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued last July.
Had the regulation come out in May, some stakeholders feared that ED would require institutions to implement the new regulations by the start of the coming school year. An October release, if it happens as now planned, may lend itself to a longer lead time as the American Association of Community Colleges and other associations advocated for in their comments.
The final rule is expected to substantially alter the current regulations that were promulgated by the Trump administration. The proposed rule would no longer require colleges to conduct live hearings with cross-examination by the parties’ representatives as part of their student conduct procedures in Title IX cases. The proposed rule would greatly expand the scope of the regulations to include more off-campus incidents and would apply to sex discrimination generally, not just sexual harassment and violence, which is the focus of the current regulations.