MATSUI AND HIRONO CALL FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A GENDER EQUITY OFFICE IN THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The lawmakers outlined the creation of an Office of Gender Equity (OGE) in their bill, the Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA), which they introduced in June

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 28, 2021 | George Hatamiya (916-201-5412)
Tags: Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) sent a letter to Secretary Miguel Cardona, encouraging the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to establish an Office for Gender Equity (OGE) within the agency. The office would provide financial and technical assistance for states, school districts, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities to strengthen the national gender infrastructure and promote gender equity in education.

Leading OGE would be a Special Assistant for Gender Equity, who would be responsible for supporting educational entities with fully implementing Title IX; providing Title IX coordinators with training, technical assistance, and support to fully carry out their roles and responsibilities; providing grants to implement programs and activities that are focused on reducing and preventing sex discrimination in education; identifying and disseminating information and evidence-based best practices for reducing and preventing sex discrimination; maintaining a resource center website to disseminate information and evidence-based best practices for achieving gender equity; and performing other activities to promote gender equity—among other things.

“ED has the authority to establish a Special Assistant for Gender Equity under the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA), and GEEA provides a detailed roadmap for how that Special Assistant can be an effective advocate for gender equity in education,” the lawmakers said. “Now more than ever, we must do what we can to promote gender equity. With these changes, we have an opportunity to advance gender equity in education through Title IX. We urge you to consider implementing provisions from the bill.”

Today’s letter continues Congresswoman Matsui’s efforts to protect women’s rights and advance an economic agenda that supports women and families. Along with introducing the Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) with Senator Hirono in June, she also introduced the Give Our Athletes Level Salaries (GOALS) Act with U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on International Women’s Day in March. Congresswoman Matsui also co-sponsors the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Raise the Wage Act in the 117th Congress.

Full text of the letter is below and HERE.

Dear Secretary Cardona:

Thank you for your commitment to promoting gender equity in education. We appreciate your continued efforts to making sure all students have equal access to educational opportunities free from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, race, national origin, and other characteristics protected by the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX).

Recently, the Biden-Harris administration has taken several important steps to promote gender equity in education—issuing executive orders to Prevent and Combat Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation (EO 13988), Establish the White House Gender Policy Council (EO 14020), and Guarantee an Educational Environment Free From Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (EO 14021); clarifying Title IX regulations through guidance; conducting education stakeholder meetings to solicit feedback about how to strengthen Title IX regulations; and starting the formal process to strengthen those regulations. We acknowledge these efforts, but more can be done to build the national gender equity infrastructure and ensure states, school districts, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities have the resources they need to promote gender equity in education.

Earlier this year, on June 23, we reintroduced the Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) for the 117th Congress. GEEA would establish an Office for Gender Equity (OGE) within the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to provide financial and technical assistance for states, school districts, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities to strengthen the national gender infrastructure and promote gender equity in education.

Leading OGE would be a Special Assistant for Gender Equity, who would be responsible for supporting educational entities with fully implementing Title IX; providing Title IX coordinators with training, technical assistance, and support to fully carry out their roles and responsibilities; providing grants to implement programs and activities that are focused on reducing and preventing sex discrimination in education; identifying and disseminating information and evidence-based best practices for reducing and preventing sex discrimination; maintaining a resource center website to disseminate information and evidence-based best practices for achieving gender equity; and performing other activities to promote gender equity—among other things. Separately, GEEA would also require coordination between the ED Secretary and the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and others to investigate, identify, and disseminate best practices to fully implement Title IX.

ED has the authority to establish a Special Assistant for Gender Equity under the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA), and GEEA provides a detailed roadmap for how that Special Assistant can be an effective advocate for gender equity in education.

Now more than ever, we must do what we can to promote gender equity. With these changes, we have an opportunity to advance gender equity in education through Title IX. We urge you to consider implementing provisions from the bill.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your response.

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