Why activists are urging the Biden administration to tear down part of Betsy DeVos' legacy

Why activists are urging the Biden administration to tear down part of Betsy DeVos' legacy

On March 2, Miguel Cardona was sworn in as secretary of education in the Biden Administration — and activists have been pressuring Cardona to revise the Title IX policies of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in the way they address students who have suffered sexual assaults.

NBC News' Tyler Kingkade notes that Cardona has faced a "growing clamor from victims' advocates, civil rights groups and Democratic members of Congress demanding a quick overhaul of the Trump Administration's Title IX regulation." Title IX, which is part of the Education Amendments of 1972, is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination on the part of any school or education program that receives federal funds.

Kingkade points out that President Joe Biden has "signed an executive order directing Cardona to review the Title IX regulation and explore rewriting it." Under DeVos' watch, Kingkade notes, Title IX gave "accused students more avenues to defend themselves" and restricts "how a school can investigate sexual assault allegations."

The Trump Administration had a great deal of turnover during former President Donald Trump's four years in the White House, but DeVos was around for most of those four years — although she resigned as education secretary following the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building. DeVos favored hard-right policies during her time in the Trump Administration, but now that Cardona is education secretary, activists are pushing for new education policies — including a different Title IX approach.

Activist Sage Carson, manager of the group Know Your IX, told NBC News, "Student survivors need immediate action on Title IX. What seems like just a few months to non-students is an entire semester for a student. Survivors can't spend another semester, let alone another four years, with the current status of the Title IX regulation."

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