U.S. Department of Education

On this day in 1972, the President signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., into law and on May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (“ED” or “the Department”) released the long-anticipated final Title IX regulations, which will have a significant impact on schools all across the country. This post identifies some of the key takeaways from the final regulations and related comments from the Department. Below are hyperlinks to the high-level conceptual elements and requirements regarding the process from the regulations.

Continue Reading Title IX: Takeaways from Final Regulations and Comments from the Department

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented unprecedented challenges for public and private educational institutions across the country. As schools evaluate how to move forward, Husch Blackwell and our entire Education team is continually monitoring and responding to federal and state guidance on this issue. We have various resources ready to assist you immediately.  We discuss those resources below and assure you that we will keep them updated as new guidance is issued as the situation evolves.

Executive Action

In response to the extraordinary public health threat posed by COVID-19, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020.
Continue Reading Federal COVID-19 Resources for Education Institutions

President Trump and U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary DeVos have consistently emphasized and promoted the idea of “local control” in education. However, what does local control really mean? Power to the states? Power to the local school boards? Until now, many have believed that local control applied to all non-federal government involvement in education. The question continues to loom regarding the power struggle and what to do when the state government is in conflict with school boards and school districts.
Continue Reading The Locus of Local Control: What Do Politicians Mean by Local Control in Education?

The President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released: America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again. The Budget Blueprint provides an overview of the President’s budget priorities for fiscal year 2018.

With respect to education overall, the Budget Blueprint proposes $59 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Education (ED). This would represent a $9 billion (or 13%) reduction from the current funding level. Among the few proposed increases in the face of such massive cuts are measures to promote school choice at the K-12 level.


Continue Reading How Does President Trump’s Budget Blueprint Propose to Impact K-12 Education?

Friends doing the Tug of war - teamworkYesterday, the U.S. Senate, by a narrow vote of 51-50, confirmed President Trump’s nomination for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Betsy DeVos.  Initially, the vote was a 50-50 tie.  All 48 Democratic Senators opposed the nomination, and two Republican Senators, Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) who both sit on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, joined the opposition.  However, Vice President Michael Pence, as President of the Senate, came to DeVos’ rescue and cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of her nomination.  This was the first time a cabinet level nominee was confirmed by the vote of the Vice President.
Continue Reading VP Pence Swoops in to Break Tie in DeVos Confirmation

Locker RoomOn October 18, 2016, a federal magistrate judge in Illinois issued a recommendation that the Federal District Court deny a motion seeking to deny a transgender

student access to the girl’s locker room.  The School District’s 2013 policy gave transgender students access to whichever restroom facilities most aligned with their gender identity, but did not extend that access to locker rooms.  A transgender student, who identifies as female, filed an administrative complaint alleging Title IX violations with the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office for Civil Rights resulting in a resolution agreement called the “Locker Room Agreement.”  This agreement entitled only this particular student to use the girl’s locker room and also included measures for all students to maintain their privacy.
Continue Reading Redefining Sex: Illinois Magistrate Makes Recommendation to Protect School’s Balanced Transgender Locker Room Policy

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education (the “Department”) released guidance regarding services and resources for English learners (“ELs”) to be provided under the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”). ELs are among the fastest-growing populations in public schools in the United States, making up nearly 10 percent of the student population nationwide. A growing concern for the Department is the graduation rate of ELs; in the 2013-2014 school year, the high school graduation rate for ELs was 62.6 percent, which was almost twenty percentage points lower than the graduation rates of all students at 82.3 percent.
Continue Reading New Department of Education Guidance on English Learners

The U.S. Department of Education (the “Department”) yesterday published proposed regulations in the Federal Register concerning the supplement-not-supplant requirement of Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This is the first time that the Title I supplement-not-supplant requirement contains an express legislative directive regarding how a local education agency (LEA) must demonstrate compliance. For this reason, the Department proposed the regulations to provide clarity about how LEAs can demonstrate that the distribution of State and local funds satisfies the statutory test. Based on the Department’s Fact Sheet, the proposed regulation would mean up to $2 billion annually in additional funding for the highest need schools and students.
Continue Reading Supplement-not-Supplant under Title I: Department of Education Releases Proposed Regulations

PrintOn July 26, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on Students with ADHD. The Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide confirm that, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, school districts are required to provide equal educational opportunities to students with attention deficit disorder (“ADD”) and students with attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”).
Continue Reading Department of Education’s Recent Guidance on Students with ADD and ADHD: What Are Your Responsibilities?