Transgender ruling could impact feds' guidance on sexual assault
- A federal Texas court has issued a stay against federal guidelines on facility use and service provision with consideration for sexual self-identification of students, a decision which could impact interpretation of sexual assault guidelines and recommendations made by the Department of Education in 2011.
- In his opinion, Judge Reed O'Connor said the 2011 guidance on Title IX compliance and sexual assault reporting and prevention is, in fact, legislation by way of its potential impact for campuses receiving federal funding.
- Judge O'Connor and other legal experts suggest that the issuance, without a provided period of public comment, is a violation of standing procedure in issuing enforceable guidance.
The federal government has made waves over the course of eight years for its aggressive stance on everything from defining which schools are 'financially risky,' which schools are safe for students against sexual assault, and which provide the most value for families, all with the objective of holding federal student aid over the heads of institutions that do not meet their definitions. But for the first time, a legal challenge may push back against the measures which could impact the public perception and existence of hundreds of institutions.
While college officials can only lobby for more equitable solutions to equity and protections for students, the era of the federal government subverting the higher education industry as a means to reducing student aid and loan fraud may be coming to an end. But with the presidential election and both candidates' ties to for-profit schools, could higher education be facing an about face from conservative governance to de-regulation?
- Inside Higher Ed Federal interpretation -- or legislation?