Stillwater News Press

Title IX: 40 Years of Change

June 23, 2012

Title IX’s impact far-reaching

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 had a seismic impact on sports in the United States, but the law itself is only 37 words long: “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 educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The law applies to educational institutions that receive federal funds, including private schools if they accept any federal dollars from student loan, grant or research programs. The courts have repeatedly interpreted the "educational program or activity" section of the law to cover both academics and athletics.

Title IX was written to open opportunities for women in higher education, but it also applies to elementary, middle and high schools that receive public dollars.

The penalty for non-compliance is withdrawal of federal funds, but that's a penalty that has yet to be used. Instead, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the agency in charge of investigating Title IX complaints and enforcing the law, works with schools to remedy complaints.

Title IX covers three general areas in athletic programs: The opportunity to participate in sports; the opportunity to access athletic scholarships, and the opportunity to access a host of other resources such as locker rooms, training facilities and prime times for game and practice schedules.

The law doesn't require schools to create mirror images of sports programs for males and females. Title IX compliance is assessed through a broader view of the total athletic program opportunities offered to male and female athletes.

For example, schools that fail to offer an equal number of athletic participation opportunities to men and women may still be in compliance with the law if they can demonstrate that they've consistently expanded those opportunities over time. The courts have ruled that "boys are more interested in sports than girls" cannot be used as a defense for failing to offer equal access to participation.

 

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Title IX: 40 Years of Change
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  • TitleIXserieslogo.jpg Charts: Growth of sports participation by women, girls

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    June 26, 2012 1 Photo

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    June 26, 2012 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Title IX_SHS_2.jpg Title IX give equal opportunities to Stillwater High students

    Stillwater strives to make sure it follows Title IX standards

    June 25, 2012 1 Photo

  • Title IX’s impact far-reaching

    The 37-word law doesn't require women's sports programs to mirror the men's program. Instead, those who enforce Title IX look broadly to see if opportunities for women are equal to those for men.

    June 23, 2012 1 Story

  • Title IX still has big impact on former Cowgirl softball player

    Shirley Webster reflects on the opportunities Title IX has given her, from playing for OSU to coaching.

    June 23, 2012

  • title9-day1.jpg Law banning sex bias struck a national sports nerve

    Passing Title IX was a matter of basic fairness for U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, who championed the law 40 years ago that gave women equal access to educational programs and athletics. As simple as that might have been, the law only passed with what he called a "knock-down, drag-out fight."

    June 23, 2012 1 Photo 1 Story

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