The Education Department (ED) is considering whether to include access to period products in Title IX protections, which ban discrimination based on sex in schools, USA Today reported Friday.
The ED previously told USA Today a month ago that it was not their decision on whether a federally funded school decides to provide products for periods, but the head of the department’s civil rights arm reportedly said now that it will evaluate the feedback it has received to its proposed rule from last June.
“The Department is committed to ensuring Title IX addresses the full scope of sex discrimination that occurs in schools,” Catherine Lhamon said.
Vanessa Harmoush, a spokesperson for the ED, told USA Today that there is no “update on timing” for when it will release its new Title IX rules.
USA Today reported that the department has been reviewing more than 200,000 comments mostly about LGBTQ rights and school sexual misconduct on the Biden administration’s proposed rules for months.
Studies have shown that students with periods are more likely to miss school than those who do not, and only about 20 states and jurisdictions require schools to provide some period products, according to USA Today.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) has introduced a bill in the House to expand access to period products in schools and other institutions, but it is unlikely to advance as Congress is about to adjourn ahead of the next session in January.