The U.S. Education Department has announced a change to Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs. The proposal would make it illegal for schools to broadly ban transgender students from sports teams that align with their gender identity, rather than their assigned sex at birth. The department says the move comes after two years of outreach to stakeholders across the country, and the changes still give schools some flexibility to ban transgender athletes depending on age and sport. According to the ACLU, in the past three years at least 19 states have passed laws broadly banning transgender students from sports teams that don’t align with their sex as assigned at birth. The Biden administration’s proposed changes would render such policies illegal if enacted.
The proposed Title IX changes will be published in the Federal Register, after which it will open for 30 days of public comment. Those are just the first steps in a long process to alter the law. Assuming the proposal survives that process, schools and students will not see the rule changed or enacted for months if not years.
The U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, “Every student should be able to have the full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination.