Recent activity at the Dept of Education

Although the Betsy DeVos resigned as Secretary of Education last week, the Department has continued to push ahead in the rush to the Trump Administration finish line.

On Friday, ED's Office of the General Counsel published a memorandum stating that LGBTQ students are not expressly included in protections under Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination at federally funded institutions. Last June, the Supreme Court held that "sex" under Title VII, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, sex, religion or national origin, protects LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination. Nonetheless, ED's memo maintains that its Office of Civil Rights should only consider certain forms of discrimination based on LGBTQ identity as discrimination under Title IX and that “sex” should be interpreted to mean “biological sex, male and female.”

Yesterday, ED released a memo that concludes that the agency lacks the power to unilaterally forgive federal student loan debt through executive action. As Politico described it, "The Trump administration on Wednesday sought to throw up a bureaucratic roadblock to progressives’ push for the incoming Biden administration to cancel large swaths of outstanding student loan debt through executive action."

Six days left.

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