Education

Brown University Faces Challenge for Unequal Elimination of Varsity Teams

Plaintiffs in a 1992 lawsuit are challenging Brown University in court for violating its settlement agreement, arguing that the school’s recent demotion of multiple varsity sports teams did not protect gender equity. The motion, filed by the ACLU of Rhode Island and advocacy organization Public Justice, argues that the recent cuts to varsity teams further...

Supreme Court Ruling Ends Religious Schools’ Exclusion From School Choice Programs

In a 5-4 decision yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting religious schools from receiving state funding in school choice programs violates the First Amendment right to freely exercise religion. The court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue was split along ideological lines, with Chief Justice Roberts, along with Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Alito...

Department of Education Issues Rule Increasing CARES Act Funding For K-12 Private Schools

A rule issued by the Department of Education (DOE) will grant K-12 private schools a large share of the $13 billion of federal coronavirus aid provided by the CARES Act. The rule requires school districts to utilize one of two plans to distribute the funds. Districts must either only utilize the funds for low-income students,...

Lawmakers Denounce Title IX Decision on Transgender Athletes

28 lawmakers, including six of the seven members of Connecticut’s delegation, signed a joint letter condemning the U.S. Department of Education’s May 15 decision regarding transgender athletes. The lawmakers request that the Department of Education (DOE) reconsider its decision, as well as other rulings that “roll back” the rights of transgender students. They have tasked...

Wisconsin Teachers Union Demands Police Be Removed from Public Schools

The Madison, Wisconsin teacher’s union, Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), has changed its stance on school-based police officers and is now advocating for police to be taken out of the city’s main high schools and replaced with thirty-three additional support staff. This is the first time that Madison Teachers Inc. has demanded the removal of police...

Chicago Protests Amplify Demands that Police Be Removed from Schools

Outrage over the murder of George Floyd by police has sparked activists in Chicago to demand that police officers be removed from Chicago Public Schools. Young people are urging the district to nullify the $33 million contract it entered into with the Chicago Police Department in August to station officers in CPS buildings. Approximately a...

New Jersey Becomes First State to Include Climate Change in Curriculum

New Jersey public schools will become the first in the nation to incorporate climate change education into the K-12 curriculum. The 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards were adopted on June 3. The new standards will allow students to not only understand what climate change is, but also to explore necessary solutions. By implementing climate...

U.S. Court Ruling Defines “Fairness” in Title IX Cases 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court decided on May 29 that “fairness” defined in several colleges’s investigations of sexual harassment means that students must be given a live hearing and cross-examination process. The decision, written by Judge David Porter, stated that if a college’s policy under Title IX of the Education...

Inclusion of Transgender Student Athletes Found to Violate Title IX

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has found that a Connecticut high school athletics policy that allows transgender students to participate in sports teams that match their gender identity violates federal law and could cost the state federal education funding. A 45-page letter, dated May 15, explained that the decision was based on the...

Nebraska Public College Pays $900,000 in Title IX Settlement

The Nebraska State College System will pay $900,000 in a settlement for inadequately addressing a case of dating violence that resulted in a student’s suicide in 2015. The settlement comes after the family of Fatima Larios, who died at 19, filed a federal suit in 2017. In addition to the monetary amount, Chadron State College,...

ACLU and Other Groups File Lawsuit to Block New Title IX Rules

Survivor advocacy groups filed a suit yesterday to block Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s new Title IX rules that weaken protections for survivors. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and another law firm, argue that the new rules make it harder for survivors to report sexual assault and harassment. The plaintiffs...

Universities Face Decision Between Medical Disaster and Financial Ruin This Fall

Amidst great economic and political pressure to reopen in the fall, American colleges and universities must choose between enormous risk and liability if they do open and bankruptcy if they do not. Colleges and universities are among the most vulnerable institutions to disease outbreaks and would serve as efficient grounds the spread of coronavirus as...

Women in Academia Struggle in the Wake of COVID-19

Women seem to be submitting comparatively fewer papers for review to academic journals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Elizabeth Hannon, deputy editor of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, noted a “negligible number of submissions to the journal from women in the last month.” Anna Watts remarked upon the makeup of...

Students Have Fundamental Right to Literacy, Appeals Court Says

A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that students in Detroit have a right to a “basic minimum education” ensuring literacy. Gary B., et al. v. Whitmer, et al. was filed by students on behalf of students in the Detroit Public Schools system. It argued that conditions in the schools had deprived them of a...

Trump Administration Asks for Census Delay

The Trump administration has moved to delay deadlines for the 2020 United States Census due to concerns over COVID-19. The changes, requested by Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, would delay the deadline for delivering state population counts for apportionment from December 2020 to April 2021 and for giving states...

Democrats and Civil Rights Groups Demand Delay of New Title IX Rule

The Education Department’s new proposed Title IX rules have already been cleared by the White House and are scheduled to be implemented in the coming weeks. Three senators signed on to a letter—along with multiple civil rights’ and human rights’ organizations—calling for the delay of these rules until the COVID-19 crisis is under control. The...

California Special Needs Students Left Behind Amidst COVID-19 Education Changes

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guarantees disabled students access to equal, high-quality, and free public education. However, as California nears its third week of physical school closures amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, special needs students are being left behind in the struggle to navigate the uncharted territory of distance learning. Approximately 800,000 California students receive...

Education Department Sanctions Penn State Again for Sexual Misconduct Procedures

On Thursday, the Department of Education announced that after a  recent investigation, it is ordering Pennsylvania State University to implement significant changes to the way the school handles complaints of sexual misconduct. The released investigation finds that the university persistently mishandled cases after the Sandusky scandal. A federal investigation released Thursday identified “serious deficiencies” in...

Trump Administration Proposes Rules Undermining Separation of Church and State Which Would Increase Sex Discrimination in Schools

February 18, 2020 marked the end of the 30-day public comment period on nine proposed federal rules loosening federal funding restrictions on religious social service providers and schools. The Department of Education’s (ED)  proposed rule to implement religion-related executive orders received nearly 16,000 comments and would have broad negative impacts if enacted. The ED’s proposed...

Rep. Maloney Announces the Smithsonian Women’s History Act

Today Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) introduced the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act, which has 293 cosponsors and is expected to go to the U.S. House floor for a vote tomorrow afternoon. This bill will establish a Smithsonian museum dedicated to women’s history on the National Mall. “We are...