WASHINGTON — Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) on June 22 introduced the bicameral Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act, legislation to provide additional resources for schools, school districts, states, and institutions of higher education to fully implement the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, commonly referred to as Title IX.
“Throughout her time in Congress, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) was a fierce advocate for gender equity,” Hirono said. “It was a pleasure to work with her to carry on Congresswoman Patsy Mink’s (D-Hawaii) legacy by introducing this bill last year. The Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act now honors Congresswoman Slaughter’s own contributions to strengthen educational opportunity for all Americans, regardless of gender.
“My friends Patsy and Louise were both trailblazers, and this bill would provide opportunities for the next generation of women to continue to break barriers.”
“It is my honor to carry on the important work of my good friend and remarkable colleague, Louise Slaughter, with this legislation. She and Patsy Mink never backed down from advancing gender equity,” Matsui said. “I’m grateful to have worked with Sen. Hirono to introduce GEEA and to continue to boost support for our Title IX coordinators. A key principle of our nation is that everyone deserves equitable opportunities and this bill works to uphold that principle for anyone facing gender discrimination.”
The Senate bill, S.3110, is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
The House bill, H.R. 6184, is cosponsored by Reps. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), John Garamendi (D-Davis), Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Henry C. Johnson (D-Ga.), Ann M. Kuster (D-N.H.), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Bill Passcrell (D-N.J.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.).
The bill is also supported by the American Association of University Women.
“Bias and discrimination have no place in our nation’s schools,” AAUW CEO Kim Churches said. “On the 46th anniversary of Title IX, we still have to fight to ensure all students have access to a safe and equitable education. AAUW is grateful to leaders like Sen. Hirono and Congresswoman Matsui for re-introducing the Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act of 2018. This bill will build on the progress that has been achieved through Title IX and push it forward to further level the playing field for equity in education.”
“We’re proud of what Title IX has achieved for students — but we can do more. Thank you, Sen. Hirono, for upholding the legacy of Hawaii’s own Patsy Mink and championing equity in education,” said Sue Wurtzburg, AAUW-Hawaii state public policy chair. “AAUW-Hawaii members are on the front lines working to ensure Title IX coordinators in schools know the full scope of their jobs and continue to effectively implement Title IX. The Gender Equity in Education Act would help students realize the promise of an education free from sex discrimination.”
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally supported education programs and activities. The Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act would provide resources, training, and technical assistance to fully implement Title IX and reduce and prevent sex discrimination in all areas of education, by:
• Establishing an Office of Gender Equity in the U.S. Department of Education to coordinate activities within the department and among other federal agencies;
• Combating discrimination, harassment, bias, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions;
• Supporting Title IX coordinators with annual training;
• Providing competitive grants to K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, local educational agencies, or states as the primary applicants, with the option to partner with organizations with relevant expertise;
• Including evaluation and assessment of how applicants improve on indicators of gender equity; and
• Disseminating resources and best practices nationwide.