NWLC Responds to the Department of Education’s Unified Agenda

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Department of Education issued its Unified Agenda. It announced that it will file a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM) in April 2022 to begin the process for undoing the Trump administration’s changes to Title IX rule on sexual harassment. This is only one month earlier than the previous Unified Agenda schedule, despite sustained calls from survivor advocates for speedier action to restore robust protections against sexual harassment in schools.

Last June, over 20,000 written and oral comments were provided to the administration by groups and individuals, mostly urging the administration to restore civil rights enforcement of Title IX. Students have been asking the Biden administration to urgently make changes to the Title  IX, as part of the #EDActNow campaign.

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), alongside 115 organizations, also sent the Department a letter in October imploring them to urgently undo the Trump administration’s changes to the Title IX rule so that civil rights protections would be restored for students by the next school year.

While NWLC’s lawsuit to stop the Trump administration’s Title IX rule resulted in a partial strikedown of the rule by a federal judge this summer, for the most part the rule still remains in effect until the Biden administration completes the rulemaking process.

The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the NWLC:

“Students should not have to put their rights and safety on hold. We are pleased that the Biden administration is taking action to restore Title IX protections against sexual harassment, but this rule should not still be on the books. Across the country, students are protesting at their schools and demanding more support for survivors of sexual violence, who schools have failed for far too long. We need our government to match their efforts and urgency.”