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Biden Order to Review Title IX         03/08 06:12

   President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order on Monday directing 
the Department of Education to review policies implemented by Donald Trump's 
administration, including changes to Title IX regulations that prohibit sex 
discrimination in federally funded institutions, according to administration 
officials.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order on 
Monday directing the Department of Education to review policies implemented by 
Donald Trump's administration, including changes to Title IX regulations that 
prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded institutions, according to 
administration officials.

   Biden focused on gender equity during his campaign and promised to 
strengthen Title IX if he won the White House. He also will sign a second 
executive order formally establishing the White House Gender Policy Council, 
according to two administration officials who briefed reporters on the plan. 
Biden's transition team announced his plans to create the council before he 
took office.

   The order directing the review of Title IX could pave the way to a major 
shift in how colleges handle allegations of sexual misconduct moving forward.

   Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, in 2018 rescinded an Obama-era 
administration standard in cases of reported sexual assault from requiring a 
"preponderance of evidence" --- meaning it is more likely than not that sexual 
harassment or violence occurred --- to "clear and convincing evidence."

   The DeVos changes reduced the liability of colleges and universities for 
investigating sexual misconduct claims and bolstered the due process rights of 
the accused, including the right to cross-examine their accusers through a 
third-party advocate at campus hearings.

   Biden, as vice president, along with then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan in 
2011 laid out the legal guidance of what was expected of college campuses in 
response to allegations of sexual violence on behalf of President Barack 
Obama's administration.

   With the Education Department review, Biden's intent is to set policies that 
help ensure students have an environment that's free from sexual harassment and 
without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, 
according to one White House official who briefed reporters on the orders.

   The order establishing the Gender Policy Council comes after Trump disbanded 
an office specifically focused on women's issues created during the Obama 
administration that was called the White House Council on Women and Girls.

   While the new council is a resurrection of the Obama-era one, one 
administration official said that giving it a new name was acknowledgement that 
inequities can affect people of all genders. Still, the official said the 
council will primarily focus on issues facing women and girls because of 
"disproportionate barriers" they face.

   The new council is tasked with helping push gender equity on the 
administration's domestic and foreign policy efforts. Some of the issues the 
council will focus on include combating sexual harassment, addressing 
structural barriers to women's participation in the workforce, decreasing 
gender wage and wealth gaps, addressing caregiving issues that have 
disproportionately impacted women and responding to gender-based violence.

 
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