The Biden administration has rolled out a policy compelling schools to embrace progressive views on gender and sexuality, risking the loss of federal aid for free and reduced-price school lunches if they refuse to comply. This move, seen as a foundational step, could tie education funding to broader progressive stances.
The issue emerged in May 2022 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced plans to redefine Title IX, a law addressing discrimination in education. The USDA extended its prohibition of sex-based discrimination to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, impacting organizations receiving funds and necessitating updates to their policies and signage.
Legal experts view this as a significant departure from the traditional interpretation of Title IX. Schools benefiting from federal aid like Pell grants, FAFSA, or subsidized lunches may now need to adhere to these expanded rules to maintain their funding.
Sarah Perry, an expert from the Heritage Foundation, highlighted the gravity of this change, emphasizing that it broadens the scope of Title IX to encompass sexual orientation and gender identity– a substantial shift from its original intent dating back to the women’s liberation movement in 1972.
Despite differing opinions on the matter, schools face the challenge of navigating these intricate gender and sexuality issues due to this mandated compliance with the new interpretation of Title IX. The reinterpretation represents a notable departure from the historical understanding of the law and its evolution in the context of anti-discrimination efforts.
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