The US Department of Education will say Wednesday that it is of the view that a Supreme Court ruling prohibiting workplace discrimination against gay and transgender employees extends to students at federally funded schools, a report said.
The department plans to say that discrimination against gay and transgender students is prohibited by Title IX, a decades-old law that prohibits sex discrimination in US-funded schools, said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. told the New York Times.
The ruling’s interpretation contrasts with that of the Department of Education under President Donald Trump, which threatened to withhold funding from federally funded schools that allowed transgender students to play on sports teams.
But it’s not clear how the new interpretation of the ruling will affect bills brought by Republicans in several states that want to ban transgender girls from playing on sports teams, Cardona told the Times.
“It’s really clear how we interpret it,” he told the newspaper, the new interpretation being that the Biden administration is “setting a marker” that discrimination will not be accepted in federally funded schools.
Cardona added to the Times, the allegations of discrimination will continue to be investigated in the same way.
“The reality is that each case has to be investigated individually,” he said.
An expert on the subject, R. Shep Melnick said it likely won’t affect how states regulate their schools, including states prohibiting transgender children from playing sports.
“Some schools, especially in states that have the law, will ignore what the federal government says,” Melnick, a Boston College politics professor, told the Times.
“And then it becomes a question of whether the federal government wants to take enforcement action, which I think they may be somewhat reluctant to,” he said.