Betsy DeVos expected to cut Obama rules forcing colleges to fight campus sex assault
Betsy DeVos during her Senate confirmation hearing (Screenshot)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may decide to slash funding to enforcement of Title IX in public schools, according to a BuzzFeed report.


DeVos is scheduled to make a major announcement at George Mason's Antonin Scalia Law School, which insiders believe will be about ending programs from former Barack Obama's administration that worked to eradicate campus sexual assault. As a staunch activist against domestic violence, former Vice President Joe Biden said in a 2016 interview that he wanted a law that would require the federal government to “take away their money” if any college or university that failed to ensure campus safety.

In 2011, a "Dear Colleague letter" was issued by the Education Department encouraging a procedure schools should follow when a student reports a sexual assault on campus. It laid out how long an investigation should take and what standard of evidence should be used. Schools were also told they cannot defer to police, but must also act to protect students.

Advocates who work against domestic violence say that the letter has been a major component in colleges and universities acting to stop sexual assaults and treat survivors with dignity. Critics have attacked the letter forced schools to act without the accused getting a fair trial.

DeVos's department has been up front that they plan to change the federal policy on sexual violence under Title IX, but never announced it would end the Obama-era crusade. During her senate confirmation process, she refused to answer whether she would keep the 2011 guidance.

Candice Jackson, the acting head of the civil rights office, wants to reexamine the 2011 letter and conduct a "notice-and-comment" process, which would allow the public to weigh in on whether it should be kept or not. Critics have also argued that the letter wasn't valid because it never had this process in 2011.

President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka said that she would serve the White House with the interest of women and girls at heart. That has proved to be inaccurate, as Ms. Trump has failed to do anything meaningful to stop anti-women policies by her father's administration.

In June, Ms. Trump celebrated a group of young women who toured the White House and called them the "next generation of leaders." However, he father's administration just cut funding to ensure these women have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Ms. Trump also celebrated the young women in STEM programs that aim to get more women working in traditionally male fields of science, technology, engineering and math. It's unclear if the Department of Education will cut these programs as well.

Similarly, Trump also celebrated Yahoo CEO Mark Weinberger for thanking her for focusing on women equality in the workplace.

DeVos will announce Wednesday night what the department's decision will be and she'll speak publicly on Thursday.