Friday, May 25, 2012

Title IX

We have all heard of Title IX, heck I have written about it myself a few times. Above is Brandi Chastain, in one of the world's most famous shots ever captured on film at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, when, after scoring the fifth kick in the penalty shootout, the United States won the World Cup over China.  

Title IX is a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, It states (in part) 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 education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...
—Title 20 U.S.C. Sections 1681-1688

Brandi Chastain was recently in Sacramento  to be honored by the California Assembly as it recognized the 40th anniversary of Title IX. 

Below is a picture of me, Brandi and some other folks at the annual Women of Sparta golf tournament to raise funds for Women's Athletics at San Jose State University. Later in the day, after she made us both a pina colada from the bar cart, we were seen doing crunches on the green! We had a great time for a great cause. We would play in this charity tournament every year, although Title IX exists, women's sports still do not receive the endowments and donations that the males receive. 

The first person to introduce Title IX in Congress was its author and chief Senate sponsor, Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana.

At the time, Bayh was working on numerous constitutional issues related to women's rights, including the Equal Rights Amendment, to build "a powerful constitutional base from which to move forward in abolishing discriminatory differential treatment based on sex."  As they were having some difficulty getting the ERA out of committee, the Higher Education Act of 1965 was on the floor for reauthorization, and on February 28, 1972, Senator Bayh introduced the ERA's equal education provision as an amendment.

In his remarks on the Senate floor, Bayh said, "We are all familiar with the stereotype of women as pretty things who go to college to find a husband, go on to graduate school because they want a more interesting husband, and finally marry, have children, and never work again. The desire of many schools not to waste a "man's place" on a woman stems from such stereotyped notions. But the facts absolutely contradict these myths about the "weaker sex" and it is time to change our operating assumptions."

"While the impact of this amendment would be far-reaching," Bayh concluded, "it is not a panacea. It is, however, an important first step in the effort to provide for the women of America something that is rightfully theirs—an equal chance to attend the schools of their choice, to develop the skills they want, and to apply those skills with the knowledge that they will have a fair chance to secure the jobs of their choice with equal pay for equal work."

Title IX became law on June 23, 1972. When President Nixon signed the bill, he spoke mostly about desegregation busing and not at all about educational access for women, which told Senator Bayh that this important moment in so many women's lives may have been lost upon the president.

The legislation covers all educational activities, and complaints under Title IX alleging sex discrimination in fields such as science or math education, or in other aspects of academic life such as access to health care and dormitory facilities, are not unheard of. It also applies to non-sport activities such as school band and clubs; however, social fraternities and sororities, sex-specific youth clubs such as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and Girls State and Boys State are specifically exempt from Title IX requirements.

Title IX applies to an entire school or institution if any part of that school receives federal funds; hence, athletic programs are subject to Title IX, even though there is very little direct federal funding of school sports.

The regulations implementing Title IX require all universities receiving federal funds to perform self-evaluations of whether they offer equal opportunities based on sex[and to provide written assurances to the Dept. of Education that the institution is in compliance for the period that the federally funded equipment or facilities remain in use. With respect to athletic programs, the Dept. of Education evaluates the following factors in determining whether equal treatment exists:
  1. Whether the selection of sports and levels of competition effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of members of both sexes;
  2. The provision of equipment and supplies;
  3. Scheduling of games and practice time;
  4. Travel and per diem allowance;
  5. Opportunity to receive coaching and academic tutoring on mathematics only;
  6. Assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors;
  7. Provision of locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities;
  8. Provision of medical and training facilities and services;
  9. Provision of housing and dining facilities and services;
  10. Publicity.
Unequal aggregate expenditures for members of each sex or unequal expenditures for male and female teams if a recipient operates or sponsors separate teams will not constitute noncompliance with this section, but the Assistant Secretary [of Education for Civil Rights] may consider the failure to provide necessary funds for teams for one sex in assessing equality of opportunity for members of each sex.

Although the most well-known application of Title IX regards athletics, there are several protections the law specifically delineates. Section 106.40 protects pregnant and parenting students from discrimination based on pregnant status, marital status, or parenthood. Their condition must be treated as any other medical condition. Students may not be excluded from any activity based on their condition of pregnancy, parenthood, or marital status. If they attend a separate facility, they must elect to do so voluntarily, and the facility must provide comparable programs.