US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Pursues Predatory Actions – OpEd


For more than 50 years, Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination,” proclaimed U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on April 19. “These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

According the federal Department of Education, the new rules clarify: “the steps a school must take to protect students, employees, and applicants from discrimination based on pregnancy or related conditions. And the rule protects against discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.”

NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, recently attacked by a trans mob, has a different take.

The Biden Admin has just officially abolished Title IX as we knew it,” Gaines contends. “Now, sex = gender identity. In a nutshell, the new rewrite means:—men can take academic AND athletic scholarships from women—men will have FULL access to bathrooms, locker rooms, etc—men could be housed in dorm rooms with women—students and faculty MUST compel their speech by requiring the use of preferred pronouns If the guidelines above are ignored or even questioned, then YOU can be charged with harassment.” That calls for a look at Title IX “as we knew it.”

As the law explains, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The measure was first introduced in Congress by Rep. Patsy Mink of Hawaii and signed into law by President Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972. At the time, there was no federal Department of Education because education is the purview of the states.

President Jimmy Carter established the new federal agency as a payoff to the National Education Association (NEA), which endorsed his run for president in 1976. President Ronald Reagan failed to eliminate the department, which expanded the federal payroll but did nothing for student achievement. In 1983, four years after the new department was established, the “A Nation at Risk” report warned that “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.”

Despite the warning, all subsequent presidents have maintained the department. Rewriting Title IX is not the Education Department’s only crusade.

In an April 10 House Appropriations Committee hearing, Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro asked Cardona what he was doing to shut down Grand Canyon University, which is in her view a “predatory for-profit school.” Cardona replied that the Education Department was aiming “not only to shut them down, but to send a message to not prey on students.” Biden’s Education Department would hit Grand Canyon University for $37.7 million, according to Cardona, the “largest fine in history against a school that lied about costs,” and so on.

“Mr. Cardona’s inflammatory comments, which are legally and factually incorrect, are so reckless that GCU has no choice but to demand an immediate retraction,” Grand Canyon University said in an April 18 statement. “He is either confused, misinformed or does not understand the actions taken by his own agency.” While this tangle plays out, there are a few things students, parents, and legislators should know.

“For-profit school” is code for an independent school that students want to attend. As defenders of Grand Canyon University note, the school serves more than 100,000 students through online and in-person programs, has not raised its tuitionin more than a decade, and offers an affordable program that helps students avoid excessive debt from student loans. Yet Cardona wants to shut it down.

Miguel Cardona “earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, and a master’s degree and PhD from the University of Connecticut.” The degrees are all in “education,” a non-discipline most useful as a bureaucratic credential.

Nobody voted for “doctor” Miguel Cardona, who now commands a predatory agency that rewrites laws such as Title IX and aims to shut down a thriving independent university. At the first opportunity, legislators should shut down the federal Department of Education, which never should have existed in the first place. That will save taxpayer dollars and advance the causes of liberty and limited government moving forward.

This article was also published in The American Spectator 

K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.

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