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FIRST ON FOX: The Biden administration’s sweeping Title IX proposal, which would bring in gender identity, mirrors an action memo from a George Soros-funded advocacy group that quietly works with the administration on policy, according to a Fox News Digital review of documents.
The Title IX proposal, unveiled last Thursday, contains rules on anti-transgender bias in schools, reversing Trump-era guidance. Governing for Impact (GFI), a secretive liberal nonprofit whose board includes a high-level Soros director, prepared a legal memo for the Education Department that is similar in structure and reasoning.
“The Trump administration has weakened protections for transgender individuals under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) by rescinding previous policy statements, changing its enforcement policy, filing Statements of Interest in litigation, and threatening fund termination for schools that support transgender students,” GFI’s memo for the Education Department reads.
A backbone of the Biden administration’s proposal includes expanding language to bring in gender identity and sexual orientation, which GFI advocated for within the memo.
GFI’s legal policy memo recommended “implementing regulations to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and transgender status; and that Title IX and its implementing regulations require schools to treat students consistent with their gender identity for purposes of Title IX and not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Rachel Klarman, GFI’s executive director, told Fox News Digital that they’re proud of their “ongoing efforts to help ensure that the federal government works more effectively for everyday working Americans, not just for members of industry groups that have long devoted vast resources to pursuing their own policy agendas.”
“We’re glad the administration is revising its Title IX guidance,” Klarman said. “During the transition, Governing for Impact made a number of recommendations for how this policy could be improved, which are available on our public website.”
An Education Department spokesperson did not directly address questions on GFI’s involvement and told Fox News Digital that the “proposed rule was developed through a transparent and public process including stakeholder engagements and a public hearing and comment process, including hundreds of comments and feedback regarding protections to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“The Department continues to welcome feedback from all parties on the proposed regulations to ensure Title IX can fulfill its full promise and protect all students,” the spokesperson said.
GFI, which has maintained a shadowy presence, has quietly worked with the Biden administration behind the scenes and boasted in internal memos of implementing more than 20 of its regulatory agenda items as it attempts to reverse Trump-era deregulations by zeroing in on education, health care, housing, labor and environmental issues, Fox News Digital previously reported.
GFI’s website does not appear on internet search engines but is discoverable to those who know the URL. It contains dozens of legal strategy memos for shaping executive orders and regulations.
The memos, however, generally do not identify their authors. Some show partnerships with outside groups such as The National Student League Defense Network, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at Berkeley Law School and the Economic Policy Institute.
The group has prepared legal policy memos for at least ten federal departments and agencies, according to an internal slide show from the group. They also produced ten administrative law primers as of 2021. The slide also included multiple federal officials as a part of its “listening tour.”
GFI, meanwhile, is not a stand-alone nonprofit. Instead, the New Venture Fund, a nonprofit incubator managed by the D.C.-based consulting firm Arabella Advisors, fiscally sponsors it. This setup allows GFI to avoid filing tax forms with the IRS.
The group’s attachment to the Arabella-Advisors dark money network, which raised $1.6 billion in anonymous donations in 2020, is not discoverable from public records. The New Venture Fund does not report GFI as a trade name in its D.C. business filings.
However, GFI’s links to the New Venture Fund are discoverable in George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) grant database. A search of the database shows that Soros nonprofits sent $12.98 million to GFI and its related action fund in 2019 and 2020.
The Foundation to Promote Open Society awarded $5.53 million to GFI. Meanwhile, the Open Society Policy Center sent $7.45 million to GFI’s action fund. The Sixteen Thirty Fund, also managed by Arabella Advisors, fiscally sponsors the action fund.
GFI also sports additional links to Soros’ network. Tom Perriello, the executive director of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, sits on GFI’s four-person board.
“Open Society is proud to support Governing for Impact’s efforts to protect American workers, consumers, patients, students and the environment through policy reform,” Perriello previously told Fox News Digital.
“Their work gives voice to people often overlooked in a regulatory environment too often dominated by corporate interests,” Perriello said. “Our support for Governing for Impact’s work is publicly available on our website and we are transparent about our enthusiasm for their victories for American workers and families.”
Parker Thayer, an investigative researcher at the Capital Research Center, told Fox News Digital that “Governing for Impact is the ultimate example of the ‘dark money’ the Left pretends to hate. It works totally in secret, it’s funded by one billionaire, it’s run by that billionaire’s cronies, and it directly influences policy from the shadows.”
“The idea that a group so deeply in Soros’s pocket is calling the shots on regulations that will affect the education and safety of almost every child in the country is deeply disturbing and should be investigated at once,” Thayer said.