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Title IX-History

Open Book

 

Michelle Lanigan

 

      Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sexual discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions. Prior to 1972, female students experienced gender segregated classes, denial of admissions to certain colleges and rarely received scholarships or financial assistance to further their educational.  Title IX has helped women participate in interscholastic and professional athletics in greater numbers. Title IX has also helped more women receive professional degrees in all professions.

     The idea of Title IX came into existence in the late 1960s in the era of the women’s civil rights movement. The issue of sexual discrimination and harassment had been the main objective, especially in educational institutions and work environments. In the early 1970’s, representative Edith Green saw this opportunity as the time to start pushing for change. Rep. Green, along with her allies, Senator Birch and Senator McGovern, went on to introduce the broader education provisions and went on to encourage gender equality in academics.

     Rep. Green brought sexual discrimination in all areas of education to the attention of U.S Senate.  Supporters of Title IX argued that if women were given the opportunity to participant in sports, it would be an investment in the psychological and physical health of the American woman. Female athletes would have a less likely chance of getting certain diseases such as breast cancer and osteoporosis. They also argued that the low percentage rate of American women graduating with a professional degree, was because women were being denied scholarships and admissions to certain colleges, based solely on the fact they were women. The biography of Edith Green Can be found at  http://bioguide.congress.gov/ scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=G000407 - 4k

     On June 23, 1972, President Nixon signed into law "The Educational Amendments of 1972", which Title IX is part of. However, there were no references to gender equity in athletic programs at this time. The amendment did include guidelines for finically funded institutions to provide gender equality is other aspects of education. These guideline included admissions to universities, and scholarship in all professional fields with equal distribution between genders. It also pointed out that sororities, religious groups and certain ethic educational organizations did not have to abide by Title IX's regulations. 

     Needless to say, making a law that would help women to empower themselves with the privilege of getting a desired education, upset a lot of  (male) people.  One person in particular, Senator Tower, wanted to make sure women were kept out of sports.  On May 20, 1974, Senator Tower proposed the "Tower Amendment" which stated that revenue producing sports such as football, basketball and baseball be exempt from Title IX's regulations and evaluations. I say boo to him and so did congress. The "Tower amendment" was rejected.

 

     

 

     In November 1975, the department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) issued general guidance on Title IX athletics requirements. This was the "Elimination of Sex Discrimination in Athletics Programs" in the Federal Register.  A reference to equal funding in athletics is added to the Educational Amendments. Educational institutions are now required to provide, or alter, their athletic programs to comply with Title IX's new regulations.

     High schools and colleges were given a three-year window to comply with these new regulations.  There were some colleges that chose not to be federally funded, so that they would not have to comply with Title IX, as we'll see in the case of "Grove City vs. Bell Decision. HEW, which had been the main department to regulate and enforce Title IX, breaks off into separate Organizations. . One is “The office of Civil Rights” (OCR) which is given the responsibility to Enforce Title IX.

     In 1979,  HEW issued the Three Prong Test.  For specifics on the Three Prong Test tap. In short, schools have three separate ways to meet Title IX’s participation requirements. This test is very flexible, allowing schools to comply with regulations, even if they do not satisfy one prong. In 1980, the Department of Education was established.
This department would take over all responsibility involved with Title IX.

     The first case against Title IX happened in 1984, Grove City vs. Bell decision.  Grove City college refused to abide by Title's IX's regulations, by stating that they did not receive direct federal funding for certain programs. The Supreme Court's decision in this case limited the reach of nondiscrimination requirements to institutions, which directly benefited from Federal assistance.  Tis decision greatly minimized the scope of Title IX's effect in athletic and educational programs.

     The Civil Rights Restoration Act was passed on March 22, 1988, in response to the Grove City ruling.  This act states that all educational institutions that receive Indirect or Direct federal funding abide by the Title IX regulations. If an educational institutions receives Any federal funding, even if its not for certain programs, they are required to follow Title nine's regulations. The aftermath of this ruling was that certain high schools, colleges and universities chose to become private academies.

     These institutions stated that their decision to become private academies did not have anything to do with sexual discriminations; they just could not afford to follow and complete all Title IX's regulations.

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