Text: S.3147 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/07/2016)

 
[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
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[S. 3147 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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114th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3147

  To support educational entities in fully implementing title IX and 
 reducing and preventing sex discrimination in all areas of education.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              July 7, 2016

 Ms. Hirono (for herself, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Blumenthal, Mrs. Boxer, 
Mr. Markey, Mrs. Shaheen, Ms. Cantwell, Ms. Mikulski, and Ms. Baldwin) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
          Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To support educational entities in fully implementing title IX and 
 reducing and preventing sex discrimination in all areas of education.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Patsy T. Mink Gender Equity in 
Education Act of 2016''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 
        1681 et seq.) (in this Act referred to as ``title IX'') and the 
        implementing regulations of title IX prohibit sex 
        discrimination in federally funded education programs and 
        activities.
            (2) Although title IX ensures equal opportunities to 
        participate in athletics, female participation rates, 
        especially for girls of color, lag far behind male 
        participation rates. The National Women's Law Center reports 
        that only 64 percent of Black girls, 64 percent of Hispanic 
        girls, and 53 percent of Asian-American girls play sports, 
        compared to 76 percent of Caucasian girls. Female student 
        athletes have been found to have higher levels of self-esteem 
        and to be more likely to graduate from high school than female 
        students who do not play sports. Although the availability of 
        athletic scholarships facilitates access to higher education, 
        many schools fail to award proportional athletic financial aid 
        to females, which can affect the long-term employment outcomes 
        and economic security of women.
            (3) Although title IX ensures gender equity in career and 
        technical education, women are severely underrepresented in 
        nontraditional fields. The American Association for the 
        University of Women reports that females make up more than 70 
        percent of students enrolled in classes that prepare students 
        for low-paying and historically female jobs, such as caregivers 
        and cosmetologists and only 20 percent of students enrolled in 
        classes that prepare students for high-paying and historically 
        male jobs, such as energy technicians and electricians.
            (4) Although title IX ensures gender equity in the fields 
        of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (in this 
        section referred to as ``STEM'') education, women are 
        disproportionately lost at nearly every stage of the STEM 
        pipeline. The National Student Clearinghouse reports that the 
        percentage of women earning STEM degrees has decreased over the 
        past decade, with women earning 19 percent of engineering 
        bachelor's degrees, 18 percent of computing bachelor's degrees, 
        42 percent of mathematics bachelor's degrees, and 39 percent of 
        physical science bachelor's degrees. In 2013, women of color 
        earned only 6 percent of computing bachelor's degrees and 3 
        percent of engineering bachelor's degrees.
            (5) Although title IX prohibits sex discrimination in 
        employment in federally funded education programs, women 
        comprise only 37.5 percent of tenured faculty and 22 percent of 
        university presidents, and female representation in STEM drops 
        at every faculty and leadership level. The National Science 
        Foundation reports that women hold only 25 percent of all 
        tenured and tenure-track positions and 17 percent of full 
        professor positions in STEM fields, Black and Hispanic women 
        together hold only 4.4 percent of all tenured and tenure-track 
        positions and 1.5 percent of full professor positions in STEM 
        fields, and Asian-American women hold only 6.1 percent of all 
        tenured and tenure-track positions and 1.9 percent of full 
        professor positions in STEM fields.
            (6) Although title IX protects against sexual and sex-based 
        harassment and violence, more than 50 percent of girls in 
        grades 7 through 12 experience sexual harassment each year and 
        approximately 10 percent of high school students experience 
        dating violence each year. A 2013 study by the Gay Lesbian 
        Straight Education Network reports that 55 percent of lesbian, 
        gay, bisexual, and transgender youth report feeling unsafe at 
        school because of their sexual orientation and 38 percent 
        report feeling unsafe because of their gender expression. 
        Research has shown that students who experience harassment at 
        school are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, to 
        engage in unhealthy and antisocial behaviors, and to have more 
        unexcused absences from school.
            (7) Although title IX guarantees access to medical leave, 
        the availability of accommodations for pregnancy-related 
        conditions, and the availability of enrollment in school-
        related activities for pregnant and parenting students, 
        numerous studies have found that pregnancy and parenting are 
        the leading reasons that females drop out of high school. A 
        2012 report from the National Women's Law Center shows that 
        only 51 percent of teenage mothers earn a high school diploma 
        by the age of 22, compared with 89 percent of women who do not 
        have a child during their teenage years, limiting continuing 
        opportunities for education and employment.
            (8) Although title IX protects against discrimination based 
        on stereotypes of actual or perceived sex, gender, gender 
        identity, or sexual orientation, many people carry implicit or 
        unconscious biases that can unintentionally influence 
        attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and decisionmaking processes. 
        Research has shown that unconscious biases can impact classroom 
        environments, teaching methods, student evaluations, 
        disciplinary practices, and career and counseling guidance, 
        particularly for students who are pursuing nontraditional 
        fields.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) ESEA definitions.--The terms ``elementary school'', 
        ``institution of higher education'', ``local educational 
        agency'', ``secondary school'', and ``State educational 
        agency'' have the meanings given those terms in section 8101 of 
        the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
        7801).
            (2) Compound discrimination.--The term ``compound 
        discrimination'' means discrimination based on sex, and one or 
        more other characteristic, including race, ethnicity, national 
        origin, disability status, religion, or age.
            (3) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the Director of 
        the Officer for Gender Equity established under section 5(a).
            (4) Educational entity.--The term ``educational entity'' 
        means any of the following entities that receive Federal funds:
                    (A) A State educational agency.
                    (B) A local educational agency.
                    (C) An institution of higher education.
                    (D) An elementary school or secondary school.
            (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Education.
            (6) Sex discrimination.--The term ``sex discrimination'' 
        means bias, discrimination, harassment, or violence based on:
                    (A) Actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, 
                gender, or gender identity.
                    (B) Pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical 
                condition.
                    (C) A stereotype associated with any characteristic 
                described in subparagraphs (A) or (B).
            (7) Title ix coordinator.--The term ``title IX 
        coordinator'' means a responsible employee, as described in 
        section 106.8(a) of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, 
        designated to coordinate efforts under title IX of the 
        Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).

SEC. 4. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are to--
            (1) promote gender equity in education in the United 
        States;
            (2) support educational entities so that such entities have 
        the support to fully implement title IX;
            (3) provide title IX coordinators with training, technical 
        assistance, and support to fully carry out their roles and 
        responsibilities;
            (4) increase general awareness about the rights and 
        obligations of individuals and entities under title IX;
            (5) identify, implement, and disseminate best practices for 
        reducing and preventing sex discrimination in all areas of 
        education;
            (6) promote educational environments that are safe and free 
        of sexual and sex-based bullying, harassment, and violence; and
            (7) promote equity in education for students who face 
        compound discrimination.

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN OFFICE FOR GENDER EQUITY.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish an Office for Gender 
Equity. The Director of the Office for Gender Equity shall be the 
Special Assistant for Gender Equity, as authorized under section 
202(b)(3) of the Department of Education Organization Act (20 U.S.C. 
3412(b)(3)). The Director of the Office for Gender Equity shall report 
directly to the Secretary.
    (b) Duties.--The Office for Gender Equity shall be responsible for 
the following:
            (1) Supporting educational entities in the full 
        implementation of title IX.
            (2) Providing title IX coordinators with training, 
        technical assistance, and support to fully carry out their 
        roles and responsibilities.
            (3) Providing grants to implement programs and activities 
        that are focused on reducing and preventing sex discrimination 
        in all areas of education.
            (4) Identifying and disseminating best practices for 
        reducing and preventing sex discrimination in all areas of 
        education.
            (5) Maintaining an Office of Gender Equity resource center 
        website to disseminate best practices in achieving gender 
        equity.
            (6) Performing any other activity consistent with achieving 
        the purposes of this Act.
    (c) Coordination.--To carry out the purposes of this Act, the 
Secretary shall coordinate with other relevant Federal offices and 
agencies, including--
            (1) the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of 
        Education;
            (2) the Institute of Education Sciences;
            (3) the White House Council on Women and Girls;
            (4) the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor;
            (5) the Office on Women's Health of the Department of 
        Health and Human Services;
            (6) the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice;
            (7) the Office on Violence Against Women of the Department 
        of Justice;
            (8) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
            (9) the Office of Safe and Healthy Students of the 
        Department of Education; and
            (10) other entities determined relevant for carrying out 
        the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 6. SUPPORT FOR TITLE IX COORDINATORS.

    (a) In General.--The Director shall provide coordination, training, 
technical assistance, and support for title IX coordinators to ensure 
that educational entities are able to fully implement title IX and 
reduce and prevent sex discrimination in all areas of education.
    (b) Title IX Coordinator Training.--
            (1) In general.--Not less than once a year, the Director 
        shall conduct a training for all title IX coordinators. The 
        training may be conducted in partnership with a national 
        organization with relevant expertise, and may be completed 
        online or in person.
            (2) Contents of training.--The training described in 
        paragraph (1) shall include the following information:
                    (A) The role and responsibility of title IX 
                coordinators.
                    (B) Best practices for increasing awareness about 
                rights and obligations under title IX.
                    (C) Best practices for investigating and responding 
                to claims of violations of title IX.
                    (D) Best practices for identifying and preventing 
                implicit and explicit sex discrimination in all areas 
                of education, including--
                            (i) recruitment and admissions;
                            (ii) teaching practices, textbooks, and 
                        curricula;
                            (iii) campus safety and security;
                            (iv) financial assistance;
                            (v) access to facilities, resources, and 
                        housing;
                            (vi) access to course offerings;
                            (vii) student health services and insurance 
                        benefits;
                            (viii) counseling and career guidance;
                            (ix) athletics;
                            (x) discipline policies;
                            (xi) employment; and
                            (xii) other areas that the Director 
                        determines are relevant for such purposes.
            (3) Application of training.--
                    (A) In general.--The Director shall take steps to 
                ensure that the trainings described in paragraph (1)--
                            (i) are adapted, as necessary, to address 
                        issues of sex discrimination at all levels of 
                        education;
                            (ii) are updated with the latest evidence-
                        based best practices; and
                            (iii) address recent trends in sex 
                        discrimination.
                    (B) Attention to compound discrimination.--The 
                Director shall take steps to ensure that such trainings 
                include attention to students who face compound 
                discrimination.
                    (C) Evaluation.--The Director shall--
                            (i) develop and conduct pre- and post-
                        training evaluations to assess the 
                        effectiveness of such trainings in improving 
                        the knowledge of the roles and responsibilities 
                        of title IX coordinators; and
                            (ii) use such evaluations to update the 
                        title IX coordinator trainings annually.
    (c) Handbook for Conducting Title IX Compliance Self-Evaluations.--
The Director shall develop a handbook for conducting self-evaluations 
of compliance with title IX in all areas of education, as described in 
subsection (b)(2)(D).
    (d) Assessment of Title IX Coordinator Support.--The Director shall 
collect relevant data and statistics on all title IX coordinators, 
including salary information, budgets, and primary roles, in order to 
make recommendations for improving title IX coordinator support.
    (e) Dissemination.--The Director shall ensure that the workplace 
contact information of all title IX coordinators and any training 
materials or information developed under this section are made 
available on the Office of Gender Equity resource center website, 
described in section 5(b)(5).

SEC. 7. SUPPORT FOR LOCAL IMPLEMENTATION.

    (a) Grants Authorized.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary, acting through the 
        Director, is authorized to award grants to educational entities 
        to support such educational entities in fully implementing 
        title IX and reducing and preventing sex discrimination in all 
        areas of education.
            (2) Eligible entity.--In this section, the term ``eligible 
        entity'' means--
                    (A) a State educational agency;
                    (B) a local educational agency;
                    (C) an institution of higher education;
                    (D) an elementary school or secondary school; or
                    (E) a partnership consisting of--
                            (i) an entity described in subparagraphs 
                        (A) through (D); and
                            (ii) a national organization with relevant 
                        expertise, or another entity that the Secretary 
                        determines has relevant expertise.
    (b) Use of Funds.--An eligible entity receiving a grant shall use 
such funds to carry out programs and activities designed to fully 
implement title IX and prevent and reduce sex discrimination, including 
programs and activities that--
            (1) increase awareness of and counteract sex stereotypes, 
        biases, and discrimination;
            (2) include trainings for students, teachers, faculty, and 
        all personnel to learn about best practices for reducing and 
        preventing sex discrimination in all areas of education;
            (3) increase access to campus resources, facilities, and 
        course offerings;
            (4) support title IX coordinators in performing outreach, 
        advocacy, and education about title IX and reducing and 
        preventing sex discrimination;
            (5) are aimed at identifying patterns or systemic problems 
        in compliance with title IX;
            (6) strengthen prevention education and awareness programs 
        regarding sexual and sex-based harassment and violence;
            (7) conduct and analyze campus climate and victimization 
        surveys;
            (8) include institutional assessment activities to identify 
        areas and causes of gender inequities;
            (9) make efforts to improve progress on gender equity 
        indicators as described in subsection (c)(2)(A); and
            (10) make efforts to improve accuracy in measurement, data 
        collection, and reporting of gender equity indicators as 
        described in subsection (c)(2)(A).
    (c) Applications.--
            (1) In general.--An eligible entity desiring a grant under 
        this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at 
        such time, in such manner, and containing such information as 
        the Secretary may reasonably require.
            (2) Contents of application.--Each application submitted by 
        an eligible entity under this section shall include the 
        following:
                    (A) A description of locally defined and documented 
                gender equity needs and priorities, which may include 
                any of the following indicators:
                            (i) Academic indicators, including 
                        performance on State assessments, enrollment, 
                        admission, attrition, time to completion, and 
                        graduation rates.
                            (ii) Civil rights data, including 
                        statistics on bullying, harassment, violence, 
                        discipline and expulsion.
                            (iii) Campus climate and victimization 
                        data.
                            (iv) Employment data.
                            (v) Attendance and absenteeism data.
                            (vi) Evidence of burden on title IX 
                        coordinators, including coordinator to student 
                        ratio and competing responsibilities.
                            (vii) Other documentation of need that the 
                        Secretary determines is relevant.
                    (B) A description of the evidence that will serve 
                as the basis for the activities that the eligible 
                entity proposes to carry out using grant funds under 
                this section.
                    (C) A description of the activities that the 
                eligible entity proposes to carry out using grant funds 
                under this section.
                    (D) A description of how the proposed activities 
                will be adapted, as necessary, to meet the needs of 
                students who face compound discrimination.
                    (E) A description of how the proposed activities 
                will help the educational entity fully implement title 
                IX.
                    (F) A description of a plan for how the proposed 
                activities under this section will continue with local 
                support following completion of the grant period and 
                termination of Federal funding.
                    (G) A description of how the proposed activities 
                are a significant component of a comprehensive plan for 
                gender equity in education and full implementation of 
                title IX.
    (d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed as prohibiting persons of any sex or gender from 
participating in any of the programs or activities funded under this 
section.
    (e) Award Basis.--
            (1) Merit review.--Grants shall be awarded under this 
        section on a competitive basis.
            (2) Priorities.--
                    (A) In general.--The Secretary shall establish 
                criteria for determining which eligible entities shall 
                have priority in receiving a grant under this section.
                    (B) Level of priority.--The criteria described in 
                subparagraph (A) may include a consideration of the 
                extent to which the application demonstrates that the 
                eligible entity--
                            (i) has demonstrated a high need for gender 
                        equity assistance based on indicators described 
                        in subsection (c)(2)(A) and a high commitment 
                        to addressing these issues;
                            (ii) will address the needs of students who 
                        face compound discrimination;
                            (iii) has not previously received 
                        assistance under this section;
                            (iv) will address relevant issues of 
                        national significance through solutions that 
                        can be replicated;
                            (v) will implement an institutional change 
                        strategy with a long-term impact that will 
                        continue to be a central activity of the 
                        eligible entity upon termination of the grant; 
                        and
                            (vi) will serve a high percentage of low-
                        income students.
                    (C) Special rule.--To the extent practicable, the 
                Secretary shall ensure that grants awarded under this 
                section, for each fiscal year, address--
                            (i) all levels of education, including--
                                    (I) elementary and secondary 
                                education;
                                    (II) undergraduate and graduate 
                                education;
                                    (III) postdoctoral education and 
                                research;
                                    (IV) career and technical 
                                education; and
                                    (V) adult education;
                            (ii) all regions of the United States; and
                            (iii) urban, rural, and suburban 
                        educational entities.
    (f) Evaluation and Dissemination.--
            (1) Evaluation.--
                    (A) In general.--Each eligible entity that receives 
                a grant under this section shall conduct an assessment 
                about the extent to which the eligible entity made 
                progress on the indicators under subsection (c)(2)(A).
                    (B) Assessment.--An eligible entity may work in 
                partnership with the Institute of Education Sciences to 
                conduct such assessment.
                    (C) Use by secretary.--Not later than 1 year after 
                receiving the grant award, the eligible entity shall 
                submit a report to the Secretary containing the results 
                of such assessment. The Secretary shall use those 
                reports in order to build the knowledge base on 
                promising models for preventing and reducing sex 
                discrimination across all areas and levels of 
                education.
            (2) Dissemination.--The Secretary shall coordinate with the 
        Director of the Institute of Education Sciences and other 
        relevant Federal offices and agencies to--
                    (A) ensure that the results of the activities 
                carried out under this section are made readily 
                available on the Office for Gender Equity resource 
                center website; and
                    (B) widely disseminate the results described in 
                subparagraph (A) to relevant Federal offices, and 
                agencies, educational entities and the general public.

SEC. 8. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall coordinate with the Director 
of the Institute of Education Sciences and other relevant Federal 
offices and agencies and entities to investigate, identify, and 
disseminate best practices to fully implement title IX and reduce and 
prevent sex discrimination in all areas of education, including--
            (1) the reduction and prevention of sex stereotyping, bias, 
        and discrimination in curricula, textbooks, software, and other 
        educational materials;
            (2) the development of policies and programs to--
                    (A) address and prevent sexual and sex-based 
                harassment and violence; and
                    (B) ensure that campuses are free from threats to 
                the safety of students, teachers, faculty, and 
                personnel;
            (3) the development and evaluation of--
                    (A) counseling and career guidance training; and
                    (B) programs to reduce and prevent sex 
                stereotyping, bias, and discrimination;
            (4) best practices for mitigating implicit bias in 
        teaching, discipline, and all areas of education;
            (5) best practices for addressing the needs of students who 
        face compound discrimination; and
            (6) other activities that the Secretary determines are 
        consistent with the purposes of this Act.
    (b) Dissemination.--The best practices described under subsection 
(a) shall be published on the Office for Gender Equity resource center 
website, as described in section 5(b)(5), and the What Works 
Clearinghouse website of the Institute of Education Sciences.

SEC. 9. REPORT; DISSEMINATION.

    (a) Report to Congress.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of this Act and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary shall 
publish a report on the steps the Department of Education has taken 
to--
            (1) support educational entities in fully implementing 
        title IX and reducing and preventing sex discrimination;
            (2) provide coordination, training, and resources for title 
        IX coordinators to fully carry out their roles and 
        responsibilities; and
            (3) promote equity in education for students who face 
        compound discrimination.
    (b) Dissemination.--The Secretary shall coordinate with the 
Director of the Institute of Education Sciences and the heads of 
relevant Federal agencies to ensure that the results of trainings, 
activities, evaluations, and research developments under this Act are 
made readily available on the Office for Gender Equity resource center 
website and disseminated widely to other relevant Federal agencies and 
offices, educational entities, and the general public.

SEC. 10. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed--
            (1) as modifying any provision of title IX of the Education 
        Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.); or
            (2) as affecting the enforcement of such title by the 
        Department of Education, the Department of Justice, or any 
        other Federal agency.

SEC. 11. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry 
out this Act $80,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2021.
    (b) Use.--From amounts made available to carry out this Act for 
each fiscal year, the Secretary shall use not less than $70,000,000 of 
such amounts to award grants under section 7.
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