Department of Education Cuts Back on Title IX Protections
On Wednesday, the Department of Education proposed regulations that would extensively weaken Title IX, the law that prohibits gender discrimination in federally funded education. The Department of Education proposal would make it significantly easier for schools and school districts to have single sex classes and single sex schools. Alarmingly, the regulations would permit schools to offer separate schools and classes by sex, but contains no requirement that the facilities offered to the two sexes be identical or equal.
Currently, Title IX permits single sex classes when they are needed to overcome the effects of gender discrimination. The proposed regulations would allow such classes in many more cases and no longer ties these classes to overcoming the effects of discrimination. The regulations would allow separate facilities or classes as long as the gender that is not given the special class or school receives a "substantially equal" educational opportunity. "Substantially equal" is not specifically defined in the regulation. However, the Department is very clear that equal or identical treatment is not required. For example, if boys are given a single sex class with two teachers, the "substantially equal" class for girls could have only one instructor.
"It is appalling," stated Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, "that in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the case that taught us that separate is never equal, the Department of Education has issued proposed regulations that plan to separate the sexes and does not even promise us equality."
Many studies have found that there is no evidence that the single-sex nature of single-sex schools actually benefit male or female students. The qualities that make single-sex schools and classes attractive - fewer students, motivated parents, motivated teachers, and resources - are the same factors that make any school successful.
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10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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