Bush eases restrictions on same-sex education

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration Wednesday announced plans to relax restrictions on single-sex public schools and classrooms, effectively ending three decades of federal attempts to enforce a nationwide policy of co-education.

New regulations drafted by the Department of Education will make it much easier to establish single-sex schools at taxpayer expense, and sweep away many of the legal obstacles to separate classes for girls and boys. At present, only a few dozen of the 93,000 public schools in the country offer same-sex classes in mainstream academic subjects.

The move could lead to "an explosion in the number of single-sex schools," predicted Tom Carroll, who founded separate federally-funded charter schools for boys and girls in Albany, N.Y., in 2002. "It eliminates many of the legal clouds hanging over us."

The new regulations, which are open to public comment for the next 45 days, change the way the Department of Education enforces Title IX of the 1972 education act, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded programs. Up until now, successive administrations have interpreted this provision to mean that virtually identical opportunities must be provided to students of both sexes.

According to the Department of Education, current regulations prohibit same-sex classes except in "very specific situations," such as sexual education or physical education classes. The proposed changes will permit single sex classes as long as "they are part of an evenhanded effort to provide a range of diverse educational options for male and female students of if they are designed to meet particular, identified educational needs."

Advocates of single-sex schools argue that girls and boys frequently perform better academically without the distractions of the opposite sex. Opponents say that the research is inconclusive and apparent increases in achievement levels in single sex schools are usually the result of greater resources.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A person walks in the rain at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
First heavy rain event predicted Sunday night for Snohomish County

Starting Sunday evening, 1 to 1½ inches of rain is expected in western Washington. It marks the end of fire season, meteorologists said.

Clinton man, 61, dies in motorcycle crash Friday

Washington State Patrol lists speed as the cause. No other people or vehicles were involved.

Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
New Boeing 737 simulator takes ‘flight’ in Mukilteo

Pilots can test their flying skills or up their game at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

Most Read