Education Department Gets a Meager Budget Increase While Title IX Probes Stack Up


The Obama Administration's focus on correcting how higher education institutions handle sexual assault on campus has resulted in a large influx of federal complaints.

The Huffington Post reported in May that the U.S. Education Department saw an increase in Title IX complaints against colleges and universities from 20 in 2009 to 123 in 2014. At that point in 2015, the ED received 68 complaints alleging schools mishandled reports of sexual assault.

By year's end, The HP noted, the ED was actively investigating 159 colleges and universities for 194 Title IX complaints, in addition to 63 K-12 schools. Due to the nature of these investigations, the ED's Office of Civil Rights has a large backlog of investigations without the means to get to them all.

Congress increased the OCR's budget from $100 million to $107 million in Dec., though President Barack Obama was aiming for $131 million.

"While the budget allocation is less than what President Obama requested, this money will help ensure OCR can continue to respond to discrimination complaints in an effective and timely manner through additional enforcement staff," ED spokesperson Dorie Nolt said in a statement.

Over the course of his second term, Obama launched two campaigns aimed to raise awareness about how often campus sexual assault occurs and how to combat the issue. Whereas "It's On Us" focuses on educating young men about abusive sexual behavior, "Not Alone" was aimed at informing and supporting women.

In addition to the "Not Alone" campaign, Obama also reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act to expand its protection for the LGBT, Native American, and immigrant communities. Such actions are giving sexual assault survivor advocates a greater voice on campus and in the government.

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