Organization Trends

The Hidden History of Biden’s Title IX Butchery

The Biden Administration recently made sweeping changes to Title IX that have the potential to change the face of American education forever. Among other things, new Department of Education guidelines state that the administration now considers gender identity to be a protected characteristic under Title IX, requiring the law’s longtime protections for women to also apply to transgender and nonbinary students.

The idea did not come to the administration organically.

The Influence Machine

These changes to Title IX are the final victory of a shadow campaign, orchestrated by some of the most powerful organizations and donors of the Left that have been hard at work behind the scenes for years. In 2022, Capital Research Center exposed the existence of an organization called Governing for Impact. (GFI). The group was funded exclusively by $17.4 million from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and incorporated as a fiscally sponsored project of the New Venture Fund and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, the flagship nonprofits of the Arabella Advisors network.

It was an incredibly tight-knit and powerful operation. It was funded seemingly by Soros alone, advised by a board that included Soros’s right-hand man Tom Perriello, and directed by Rachel Klarman, the niece of hedge-fund billionaire and Democrat mega-donor Seth Klarman. Rachel had also previously worked for and donated thousands to Perriello’s congressional campaign as a college student. Perriello had so much influence over policy in the early years of the Biden administration that he scored 17 visits to the White House and was so involved in pushing for the Inflation Reduction Act that he was present on the floor of the House of Representatives when it was passed.

GFI was also intentionally secretive. The group initially hid their website with its dozens of policy briefs and whitepapers from search engines. And it tried to delete an internal budget presentation bragging of its successes when reporters told GFI that it had accidentally been made public. Luckily, Capital Research Center saved copies before it was deleted.

On its website, now made discoverable to search engines, one policy brief published in November 2020 titled “Protecting the Rights of LGBTQ+ Students under Title IX” laid out a legal justification for including gender identity under Title IX by simply announcing that the administration had adopted a new interpretation of the law. Two years later, and just two months after Capital Research Center exposed GFI, the Biden administration announced its intent to do exactly that.

The Cover Up

After the administration announced its plans Capital Research Center dug further into GFI’s memo, this time examining the co-author, the National Student Legal Defense Network (NSLDN). Our research discovered that in 2019 and 2020 the NSLDN received $150,000 from the National Education Association (NEA) and $100,000 from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the two largest teacher unions in the country, which had both publicly supported including gender identity under Title IX protections in the past.

Shortly after Capital Research Center reporting, the right-of-center education policy group Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demanding that the Department of Education hand over any communications it had with GFI, NSLDN, or the New Venture Fund that contained certain keywords related to the Title IX change. The Biden Administration ignored the request. A year and a half later, PDE had not received any documents or even an update on when they might receive them and sued the administration to secure the release of the files. Clearly, the Biden Administration does not want people to know the role GFI and its allies played in drafting the policy.

In the meantime, a full-scale revolt against GFI’s version of Title IX has commenced. Conservative leaders are already refusing to comply with the changes, including state leaders in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina and the state superintendent of Oklahoma. A host of conservative activist groups have also announced that they intend to sue the administration to block these changes.

Until then, the entire American education system is in a weird woke limbo. Only time and the courts will tell if the American people will ever learn the truth about the influence network behind this change or if this change will survive the coming legal challenges.

Parker Thayer

Parker Thayer is a Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. A native of Michigan, he recently graduated from Hillsdale College.
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