The Hendersonville Standard Blog
The Hendersonville Standard Blog
Title IX at 40 Years: Partial Progress
“Title IX is a law passed in 1972 that requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding.” ~ from TitleIX.info, a project of the MARGARET Fund of the National Women’s Law Center
More than 40 years ago, before 1972, our nation’s educational system was tilted toward providing greater resources and opportunities for men, rather than for women. In higher education, far more men than women were admitted to colleges and universities. At a supposedly enlightened institution such as Harvard University, for example, women were required to enroll and live at Radcliffe College, Harvard’s “sister school,” and were then able not to enroll or live on campus at Harvard.
Across the nation, in college and university athletics, about 98 percent of financial resources were devoted to men’s sports, and only 2 percent of higher education athletic funding was allocated to programs for female athletes. In high schools as well, funding for girls’ sports was a fraction of that set aside for boys’ sports.
On June 23, 2972 – 40 years ago – President Richard M. Nixon signed a federal law called the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Within that law was a 37-word section, known as Title IX (pronounced “title nine”) which helped move the American education system toward gender equality.
Here is the original 37-word section of the law known as Title IX:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
The implications and goals of Title IX were not then well understood, and even today are not fully realized. There has been progress, yet more remains to be done.
Q. Isn’t Title IX mainly about equality for women’s college athletic programs?
No, although Title IX’s progress in women’s athletic funding has received much publicity and public awareness. Female participation in college athletics has increased by about 450 percent, and female participation in high school athletics had increased by 300 to 400 percent in various states since 1972. Funding for men’s sports – led by football and basketball revenues – still tips the vast majority of funding toward men’s sports.
As the National Women’s Law Center has noted through its TitleIX.info site, the goals of Title IX actually extend across 10 major areas:
1. Access to Higher Education
2. Athletics Under Title IX
3. Career Education
4. Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students
6. Learning Environment
7. Math and Science
8. Sexual Harassment
9. Standardized Testing
Q. Does Title IX protect and advance only the rights of female students?
No. Title IX applies to male as well as female students.
Q. Have American schools moved forward to fulfill Title IX’s goals?
Yes. The goals of Title IX are still not fully realized, but today, every school or school district that receives federal funding (which includes almost all colleges and universities, as well as public elementary, middle and secondary schools) must have a Title IX Coordinator.
In other words, each school or school system is required to designate and adequately train at least one employee to coordinate the recipient's Title IX responsibilities. Title IX regulations also require that the names and contact information of each Title IX Coordinator be made public by the educational institution. Every student and parent has the right to know the name of the Title IX Coordinator for her or his school.
James B. (Jim) Hawkins is a general practice and public interest law attorney based in Gallatin. This column represents legal information, and is not intended to take the place of legal advice. All cases are different and need individual attention. Consult with a private attorney of your choice to review the facts and law specific to your case. Column topic requests may be submitted to Jim Hawkins at (615) 452-9200.