Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Title IX Turns 39

Happy Annnnn-I-verse-ahhh-ree Tiii- tle  Ni-iiine!

President Richard Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972  into law on June 23, 1972.
Title IX states: 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. Although Title IX is best known for its impact on high school and collegiate athletics, the original statute made no explicit mention of sports, and, did not mention the word “female” or “male.”

Let’s play Fact or Myth from the Title IX info website:
Fact or Myth? Title IX forces schools to cut men's sports.
Myth. Title IX in no way requires schools to cut men's sports. "Nothing in Title IX requires the cutting or reduction of teams in order to demonstrate compliance." (DOE) All federal courts to consider the question have agreed. Some schools have decided on their own to eliminate certain men's sports, but the law is flexible. There are many other ways to come into compliance. Some schools have cut sports, like gymnastics and wrestling, rather than controlling bloated football and basketball budgets, which consume a whopping 72% of the average Division I-A school's total men's athletic operating budget. For example, San Diego State University decided to address its $2 million budget deficit by cutting its men's volleyball team instead of cutting slightly into the $5 million football budget. But there are other options: A recent GAO study found that 72% of schools that added teams from 1992-1993 to 1999-2000 did so without discontinuing any teams.

Fact or Myth? Title IX applies only to females.
Myth. Both male and female students are protected by Title IX.

Fact or Myth? Title IX is only about athletics.
Myth. Most people who know about Title IX think it only applies to sports, but Title IX applies to every aspect of Federally funded education programs. In fact, athletics is only one of 10 major areas addressed by the law. These other areas are: Access to Higher Education, Career Education, Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, Employment, Learning Environment, Math and Science, Sexual Harassment, Standardized Testing, and Technology.

Think Title IX is not important? Talk to Tara VanDerveer about the dark old days of women’s athletics sometime. Or ask former Stanford player Mariah Burton Nelson who remembers playing at Stanford in "pinnies", in front of 20 fans and no athletic scholarships. This was AFTER Title IX. She had to still ask Stanford to comply.

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