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TitleIX

Three Prong Test
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What is the Three Prong Test?

Philosophical Origins of Title IX

As you know Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 said that, “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.” This law applies to all educational institutions that receive any federal funds and prohibits discrimination in all educational programs and activities, not just in athletics. This is where Title IX is mostly known for because Title IX gives women athletics the right to right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions that receive federal funds from elementary schools to colleges or universities. Almost all colleges and universities receive federal funding.
Title IX requires that every educational institution have a Title IX Compliance Coordinator. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the primary agency charged with the enforcement of institutions that are in non-compliance with Title IX. There is a three part test in Title IX as it applies to athletics programs and if the answer to any of three parts is to be in non-compliance with Title IX. Title IX is divided into three parts with regard to sports: opportunity, financial aid, and other program components. The first part says; whether intercollegiate level participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments. All this means is that if 47% of the athletes at a college or university that they should receive 47% of the scholarship dollars. The second part of the tests states, where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, whether the institution can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion which is demonstrably responsive to the developing interests and abilities of the members of that sex. This means that members of one sex must show evidence of this happening to their sex or the institution may not be non-compliance with Title IX. The last part of the test says, where the members of one sex are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, and the institution cannot show a history and continuing practice of program expansion, as provided above, whether it can be demonstrated that the interests and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program. This last part has to do with other program components and this means that male and female athletes must be treated equally in the provision of facilities, equipment, supplies, coaching, practice and game times, medical and training facilities and services, tutoring, travel and daily allowance, publicity and dining facilities and services, recruitment and support services. This last part of three part test is the most confusing parts of three part test because it deals with so much with the athletes themselves. An institution will be found in compliance with Title IX with part three of the test unless there exists a sport(s) for the underrepresented sex for which all three of the following conditions are met: (1) unmet interest sufficient to sustain a varsity team in a sport(s); (2) sufficient expectation of intercollegiate competition for a team in sport(s); and (3) reasonable expectation of intercollegiate competition for a team in the sport(s) within the school’s normal competitive region. The three part test is the way the OCR enforces Title IX or a complaint is made by an underrepresented members of one sex at any institution receiving federal funds.
The ultimate penalty for non-compliance is withdrawal of federal funds from the offending institution. Institutions may also be required by a court or the OCR to make changes in their programs and to pay damages to the students for their lost opportunities. Although most institutions are not in compliance with Title IX, no institution has lost any federal funds as a result of non-compliance with Title IX (Office for Civil Rights states that it does not have sufficient staff/budget to fully enforce Title IX). Institutions have had to pay substantial damages and attorneys’ fees in cases brought to court. In 1994, Congress passed the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA), which requires all institutions of higher education to report each year on athletic participation numbers, scholarships, program budgets and expenditures, and coaching salaries by gender. This is helped the OCR in the last ten years since they have been shorthanded because all institutions are reported to show their numbers of athletics.

http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/interath.html



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