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Title IX and Gender Equality in Texas Public School Athletics

Discrimination at School or Work

This article explains sex-based discrimination in schools that receive federal funding, including athletics programs.

In this article, learn about Title IX and ensuring your school is compliant. Penalties can be imposed for noncompliance. You will also find out how Title IX applies to school athletics and how you go about making a complaint.

What Is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex for schools that receive federal funding. This includes those schools' athletics programs. See the information at the links below for more information on this.

Title IX Overview

Text below reproduced from the Women Sports Foundation Website:

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a short and simple federal law:

“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 any federal funds and prohibits discrimination in all educational programs and activities, not just athletics. Athletic programs are considered educational programs and activities. Title IX gives women athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions that receive federal funds, from elementary schools to colleges and universities. While there are few private elementary, middle school, or high schools that receive federal funds, almost all colleges and universities, private and public, receive such funding.

What if a school has violated Title IX?

If you feel like a school has violated Title IX you can make a complaint to the Office of Civil Rights with the U.S. Department of Education.

What are the penalties for noncompliance with Title IX ?

The penalty for non-compliance with Title IX is withdrawal of federal funds. Despite the fact that most estimates are that 80 to 90 percent of all educational institutions are not in compliance with Title IX as it applies to athletics, such withdrawal of federal monies has never been initiated. When institutions are determined to be out of compliance with the law, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) finds them “in compliance conditioned on remedying identified problems.”

Must every school have a Title IX coordinator?

Title IX requires that every educational institution have a Title IX Compliance Coordinator. The Office for Civil Rights is the primary agency charged with Title IX enforcement.

Any person, regardless of whether they have been harmed by failure of the educational institution to comply with the law, may file a Title IX complaint with the OCR which is obligated to investigate such a complaint within a specified time period. The person filing the complaint may request that his or her identity be kept confidential. Individuals who have been harmed by failure of the institution to comply have an individual right to sue under the law.

How does Title IX apply to school athletics?

There are three parts to Title IX as it applies to athletics programs:

  1. Effective accommodation of student interests and abilities (participation)
  2. Athletic financial assistance (scholarships), and
  3. Other program components (the “laundry list” of benefits to and treatment of athletes). The “laundry list” includes equipment and supplies, scheduling of games and practice times, travel and daily per diem allowances, access to tutoring, coaching, locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities, medical and training facilities and services, publicity, recruitment of student-athletes, and support services.

See What is Title IX? by the Women's Sports Foundation.

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