What happens if school districts are not in compliance with the new Title IX regulations?
The new Title IX regulations, released by the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on May 6th, take effect August 14, 2020. Even though the new regulations were issued during a period of “high stress, heroic efforts and extraordinary adaptation” to COVID-19, school districts need to pay close attention to the new requirements which include:
updating your policies,
identifying and clearly defining the role of your Title IX coordinator,
establishing a clear investigation process,
providing 8 hours of training for "Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decision-makers, and anyone who facilitates an informal resolution process."
providing annual awareness and response training for a minimum of 50 percent of your staff.
The new regulations, which are significantly different and more stringent than ever before, have "the force of law" and will be interpreted and enforced by courts nationwide. In addition, the Department of Education announced it will be conducting compliance reviews of how K-12 schools and districts handle cases of sexual assault.
School districts that fail to comply with the new Department directives by August 14, 2020 stand to lose federal funding. For example, Chicago Public School improperly handled complaints of sexual misconduct which resulted in $4 million in federal funding being withheld.
In addition, failure to comply with Title IX regulations can result in other various negative effects including
millions of dollars in civil claims that school districts may pay out for non-compliance if an incident happens on their watch.
Immeasurable harm to students and extensive damage to the community’s trust.
Extensive litigation fees to date and massive future litigation risk as previously mishandled complaints are re-evaluated.
Our team at McGrath Training Solutions is committed to helping you understand and comply with these updates so you can keep the people and district you care about safe from harm and liability. Email us or give us a call (1.800.733.1638) to set up some time to discuss your training needs. We are here to help provide quality training materials to ensure you are compliant with your state and federal laws and create a safe school environment for all your staff and students.
Education Next’s article, “The Title IX Spotlight Shifts from the Campus to the Schoolhouse” which describes how the new federal rules aim at preventing sexual harassment and assault in elementary and secondary education.
Brooking’s Institute article, “Analyzing the Department of Education’s final Title IX rules on sexual misconduct” which reviews the regulations and its applicability to elementary and secondary schools.