Summer 2021

SEPTEMBER 23 - 24, 2021
It's back...it's live...and it's IN PERSON (or virtually, if you prefer!) The 2021 Forum for Excellence will be held on September 23 - 24, 2021 in Bloomington/Normal. The theme for this year's Forum is Through the Equity Lens. The committee is planning to hold this event in-person, paired with virtual components for those who prefer to attend online. Please know the safety of our attendees is our top priority, and we will continue to monitor our environment to ensure a healthy and safe conference for all attendees.
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

The passage of Title IX on June 23, 1972, prohibiting sex discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, significantly impacted all aspects of K-12 and postsecondary education. Title IX not only ensures equal access in areas such as admissions, financial assistance, employment, athletics, and counseling; but also addresses sex-based harassment, including sexual assault, treatment of pregnant/parenting students, LGBTQ+ students, discipline, and single-sex education. The Vocational Education Act of 1976 built on Title IX, eliminating sex bias and stereotyping in what is now known as career and technical education and providing for a state equity coordinator.

The Department of Justice recently issued new guidance to agencies clarifying that Title IX sex discrimination protection includes protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. While considering this new guidance, it is important to keep those who hold non-dominant identities, such as Persons of Color whose gender falls outside of the gender binary, in mind.

In his statement commemorating the 49th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized Title IX as "...the strongest tool we have to protect every student's right to equal access to educational opportunities free from sex discrimination." Secretary Cardona added that he was "...proud of the actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken so far in ensuring that Title IX protects the civil rights of all students, including LGBTQ+ students, in our schools and on college campuses."

In observance of Title IX's 49th anniversary, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights issued a Dear Educator Letter and, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, a new fact sheet: Confronting
Anti-LGBTQI+ Harassment in Schools: A Resource for Students and Families.

The Department of Education's Dear Educator Letter is available here
The Department of Education and the Department of Justice's fact sheet, Confronting Anti-LGBTQI+ Harassment in Schools: A Resource for Students and Families, is available here.
Administration and Congress News
Education Department Begins Sweeping Rewrite of Title IX Sexual Misconduct Rules
Lauren Camera, U.S. News and World Report

The Education Department has begun a long rewrite to Title IX campus sexual misconduct rules with a week-long hearing that stands to dismantle the Trump administration's regulating on the landmark sex discrimination civil rights law and to potentially expand its scope. "Students deserve to feel safe from sex discrimination in all learning environments," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. "These Title IX hearings are an important step in the right direction and an opportunity for us to get your input on this important topic."  Read more>>>

Senate Republicans Block Bill Targeting Gender Pay Gap
Eleanor Mueller, Politico

The Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to demonstrate that any gap in pay between a man and a woman was due to job performance rather than gender. Senate Republicans successfully blocked Democrats’ bill to narrow the gender wage gap in the party’s second use of the filibuster to block majority-backed legislation. The Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to demonstrate that any gap in pay between a man and a woman was due to job performance rather than gender. Read more>>>

Senate Passes China Competitiveness Bill Without Short-Term Pell Provision
Michael Matthews, CTE Policy Watch-ACTE

The Senate passed a sweeping proposal that would provide more than $200 billion to aid American manufacturing, technology, research and development, in an effort to quell China’s growing economic influence worldwide. As we reported last week, an amendment introduced by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) that would expand Pell Grants to short-term CTE programs was accepted into a larger package of amendments that was closely negotiated between party leadership. The goal was to have them included into the larger manager’s amendment offered by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), by making a simple unanimous consent (UC) procedural request, then passing everything in the final bill. Unfortunately, the package that included the short-term Pell amendment was defeated when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) objected to the UC request offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and the bill moved on to final passage without the amendment package. Read more>>>
Equity in CTE & STEM Root Causes and Strategies: A Call to Action

Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) pathways offer access to high-skill, high-wage, in-demand careers, yet disparities persist by gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic, and disability status. There are many root causes for the disparities, and it can be challenging to know where to start to influence change. NAPE can help! Download Equity in CTE & STEM Root Causes and Strategies: A Call to Action here>>>

New to the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)? NAPE is the nation's leading professional alliance for access, equity, and diversity in education, training, and careers. NAPE tracks legislation that addresses access, equity, and diversity in classrooms and the workplace and also provides research-based strategy driven professional development services. Check out their website and learn about their memberships here>>>
All of the resources from the Career Palooza can still be accessed on the Palooza webpage. The Career Palooza webpage shared recorded webinars, on-demand student success stories, and college marketing videos to encourage exploration of different career options within CTE and share how students can get started on a career path NOW!
WIOA Wednesday Webinars

Bridges Out of Poverty - Three-Part Series

Part 3
June 30, 2021 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Did you miss Part One?

Watch Part 1 and get the resources HERE. Parts 2 & 3 will be posted on this page once they're available.
Migrant Seasonal Farm Workers, Foreign Labor, and the Agricultural Recruitment System 
July 21 2021 10:00 am - 11:30 am
2021 Summer ATTA Monthly Webinar Series

The Language of Disability and The Inclusion Revolution
July 13, 2021 - 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Empowering the Next Generation of Neurodiverse Self-Advocates  
August 10, 2021 - 10:00 am - 11:30 am
ISELA Summer Workshops & Academies

Your Brain is Not the Boss
July 8, 2021 8:30 am - 2:00 pm

HB 2748 and HB 40: What Special Education Administrators Need to Know
July 9, 2021 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Addressing Racial Disparities in SPED: Working for More Equitable Outcomes for Students of Color
July 20, 2021 8:30 am - 2:00 am

Building Our Snap Back: Teaching Resiliency and Successful Planning for Education in a Post-Pandemic Era
August 3, 2021 8:30 am - 2:30 am

Building Resilient Leaders
August 5, 2021 9:00 am - 2:00 am