Feds list schools that sought exemption from discrimination statute

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The Department of Education is listing the names of hundreds of religious schools that critics say discriminate against transgender students.

The Education Department on Friday published the names of colleges and universities that have requested a religious exemption from Title IX, which prohibits discrimination against women.

In 2014, the protections were expanded to include transgender students. Since then, 232 schools have requested an exemption from Title IX, according to the department.

{mosads}Since that time, the number of religious schools seeking exemptions from Title IX have increased dramatically, according to a group of Senate Democrats who expressed concerns about a rise in discrimination against transgender students.

At the request of Senate Democrats, the Education Department quietly published the names of all the schools that have requested religious exemptions from Title IX.

“Everyone should have the right to get an education at a school that respects and protects their core rights to be who they are and love who they want,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), one of the lawmakers who pushed the Education Department to release the names of the religious schools. 

“Today, the [Education] Department of Education is helping students and parents get all the facts before they decide where to invest their higher education dollars,” he added.

The number of religious schools requesting Title IX exemptions spiked from one in 2013 to 43 in 2015 — the year after the rule was expanded to include transgender students, the Senate Democrats point out.

But the Education Department’s list also includes many schools that requested the exemption before the rule was expanded to include transgender students.

The Education Department agreed to publish the school names in January, but is just now complying with the request, according to the Senate Democrats.

The Education Department did not issue a press release Friday acknowledging the new database, or immediately respond to a request for comment.

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