A local news source from New Haven, Connecticut, reported that the New Haven Public Schools and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights have reached a tentative agreement on their current transgender athlete dispute. The deal reportedly will allow transgender athletes to continue to play on athletics teams that coincide with their gender identities without losing federal funding. As discussed in an earlier blog post, OCR issued a letter in late August threatening to take away funds from a handful of Connecticut school districts and the Connecticut athletic association if transgender female students continue competing with cisgender female athletes. Subsequently, the Department of Education threatened to cut certain grant funds for magnet schools expected by numerous Connecticut schools in October. In response, the Board of Education in New Haven threatened legal action if the Department cut the grant funds. Although we will have to wait to understand the terms of any agreement, this turn of events on this issue is undoubtedly noteworthy and one we will continue to watch.
Update: Reports claim that the agreement was based on an assurance that the Connecticut school districts will not use MSAP funds toward interscholastic sports and will comply with the outcome of any court case concerning the application of Title IX to interscholastic athletic participation by transgender high school students. School districts that receive MSAP funds should take notice of this agreement. Contact us for more information.