We last updated you in October on another anticipated delay for the release of the Department of Education’s revised Title IX sexual harassment and athletics regulations. Following that update, on December 7, 2023, the Department of Education published its Fall Regulatory Agenda, which revised the projected finalized publication of both regulations to March 2024.
As background, the Department of Education published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that amends the 2020 Title IX regulations on sexual harassment in July 2022. In the 60-day public comment period that followed, over 244,000 comments were submitted. Additionally, the Department published a Title IX NPRM for transgender participation in athletics in April 2023, with a 30-day comment period that resulted in over 120,000 comments. Both regulatory changes to Title IX were originally set to be issued by the Department of Education in finalized form in May 2023; then in May that date was revised to October 2023 and then again most recently to March 2024.
While ICS does still anticipate that the new Title IX regulations for both sexual harassment and athletics participation will be released in final form sometime in Spring 2024, some mandated regulatory steps need to occur first. As it stands today, the Department of Education has not yet sent the regulations to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for their required review. Typically, regulations spend about 90 days with OIRA, though that time period can be shorter or longer.
A March 2024 timeline for issuing the new regulations becomes more and more uncertain in light of their absence at OIRA at this time and the typical 90 days they might spend there. If the final regulations are not substantially different from their proposed counterparts, this could shorten their time at OIRA, as could changes made by the Biden Administration in 2022 to expedite the OIRA review process. Nonetheless, while it is still possible that the final regulations may move quickly through OIRA and be released in March, we believe the date may push to later in the Spring. Either way, we think a Fall 2024 implementation deadline remains likely.
While we work to keep you up-to-date with new information about the regulations’ release as we receive it, we want to encourage you in two specific areas:
- Maintain compliance with the 2020 Regulations. Don’t lose sight of ongoing compliance in anticipation of changes. Keep doing the work! This is our fourth academic year under these regulations which means that the Office for Civil Rights will be expecting clear compliance efforts. Continue training your Title IX Team and following policy and procedures. Remember, ICS offers online on-demand courses through Title IX University (unlimited access for Community Partners) as well as live interactive virtual and in-person trainings.
- Think ahead about needs you will have when the new regulations are released. New regulations mean policy edits and updates and training on any new requirements. We also anticipate the new regulations will have mandated employee training. Begin thinking about the resources (i.e. time, monetary, personnel, etc.) that you might need to comply with new requirements. ICS can assist with policy support, employee training, and serving in external roles as complexities and needs change. ICS is also actively planning many in-person and virtual trainings for this summer to assist institutions and school districts with coming into compliance with new requirements. Please reach out if you would like information on these services.
These timelines with the new regulations have been a moving target, and ICS understands that uncertainty can be complex to navigate. Our team is here to support you and your compliance efforts through the certain and uncertain times. As we all wait on the edge of our seats for what comes next, please consider becoming a Community Partner for additional support and information. This work is rewarding but hard, so let’s do it together in 2024!