June 24, 2016
Catholic Education News

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Correction on Title IX
 
Due to concerns and questions raised by last week's edition, please see this updated and corrected CE News article on Title IX. As always, thank you for reading - Greg

On May 13, the federal Department of Education released a  Dear Colleague Letter addressed to all recipients of federal educational assistance that advised on how the Department would enforce Title IX - the part of the law addressing discrimination on the basis of sex.
 
The USCCB released a  statement, co-authored by Archbishop Lucas, Chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, calling the letter "deeply disturbing" and pointing out how the new guidance "contradicts a basic understanding of human formation."
 
Title IX is a complex law, and lawyers, regulators, and courts are now grappling with important questions related to Catholic schools: When are they " recipients of federal financial assistance" subject to its mandates?  If covered, how can they get a religious exemption, and at what cost?
 
In this confusing cultural and legal environment, it is vital Catholic school officials know as much as possible about the programs available to their students and teachers. Please stay in touch with your diocesan attorney regarding this rapidly developing area of law.  And if this office can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me by email (gdolan@usccb.org) or phone (202-541-3148).
 
Assurances and Consultations

 The Department of Education released a " notice of proposed rulemaking" (fancy term for "first draft") for accountability rules and state plans under ESSA. Frustratingly, ED's regulations completely leave out private school representatives in the creation of state plans and requires no assurances on behalf of the SEA that equitable services were provided. That is a glaring oversight that goes against the plain text of the law.

The USCCB will be commenting on the rule and offering constructive changes (likely to §299.13(c) and §299.15(a) found on pages 172 and 177 here). 

As soon as those comments are prepared, they will be forwarded around. Your participation in the comment period will be much appreciated! Comments are due by August 1 -look for USCCB's comments well before then.
 
Reading List:
 
Best,
Greg Dolan