NCEA Joins Religious and Non-Profit Organizations to Appeal Broadened Scope of Title IX

New interpretation of Title IX affects National School Lunch Programs.

Leesburg, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has joined several other associations, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Council of American Private Education (CAPE), Association of Independent Schools, Christian Schools International, National Association of Episcopal Schools, National Council of Islamic Schools, as well as various dioceses, international associations and non-profit organizations in a letter of support for the Amici Curiae brief filed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) for reconsideration or appeal to the 4th Circuit Court to rule on the issue of what constitutes Federal Financial Assistance (FFA).

Although Title IX has received the most attention for its impact on athletics, especially regarding women at the college level, it applies to a variety of K-12 educational programs and has been adapted by most other federal agencies to govern workplace policies. If schools are recipients of FFA, the obligations of institutions that receive this assistance are addressed in several civil rights laws and employment regulations. New interpretations of these laws and regulations have raised questions and concerns about the applicability of such to Catholic schools that received equitable services, not funds.

In two recent court decisions, the judges decided that federal tax exemption status constitutes FFA. This new interpretation triggers obligations, in those jurisdictions, not only under Title IX, but also Title VI which has no religious exemption and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act among many others. These contain many burdensome requirements, including personnel to administer compliance, that would be nearly impossible for small or modest sized private schools in terms of time, finances and paperwork.

While this is being litigated, Catholic schools are encouraged to participate in programs as they have been doing.

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.