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TITLE IX AND ITS BENEFITS



“No Person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal assistance.”


TITLE IX of the Education Amendments was signed by President Nixon in June of 1972 to become a law. The main purpose of Title IX is to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that is federally funded. TITLE IX is not leverage for women to obtain more benefits than men, but rather it is applicable for both sexes to get benefits and promote equality in Schools; especially high schools and colleges.
The law requires educational institutions with federal assistance to maintain policies, practices and programs that do not discriminate in base of sex. Females and males are expected to receive fair and equal treatment in every aspect of public schooling such as scholarships, financial aid, employment assistance, housing, health and insurance benefits, sexual harassment, athletics, among other things (Sadker 2004, website).

I argue that TITLE IX and its fundamental position provided to the athletic programs at high school and college levels is largely favorable, and the role it takes to ensure that women will have the same rights as men to practice and compete on whatever discipline they choose is very valuable. TITLE IX is an essential piece to promote equality on schools. It has had a beneficial effect and should be continued.

The historical background dates back to the year 1972 when TITLE IX of the Education Amendments was enacted and signed by former President Richard Nixon on June 23. The sponsors of TITLE IX were Birch Bayh from the Senate and Edith Green from the House of Representatives.

Since then, TITLE IX has suffered opposition and the first attempt to blockade this amendment was brought by “The Tower Amendment” in the year 1974 which intended to exempt revenue-producing sports from determinations of Title IX. In 1975, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) issued the final TITLE IX regulation: A specific reference to equal funding in athletics to try to prevent other obstructions similar to “The Tower Amendment”.

The first case against TITLE IX was Grove City vs. Bell in 1984. This case removed by judicial review, the applicability of TITLE IX in athletic programs stating that only those programs within an institution that are receiving federal funding will need to comply with TITLE IX. But, in 1988 The Civil Rights Restoration Act was passed in response against the Grove City vs. Bell decision seeing clearly the power of check and balances between Supreme Court and Congress. The Act states that all educational institutions receiving direct or indirect funding must comply with TITLE IX. In 1992 another Supreme Court decision in the case Franklin vs. Gwinnett County Public Schools strengthen TITLE IX when the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff filing a TITLE IX lawsuit is entitled to receive punitive damages if intentional actions to avoid TITLE IX compliances is evident.

TITLE IX is not a quota system. TITLE IX prohibits sex discrimination, which means that male and female students must have the same opportunities in participating on educational programs (including sports). Because TITLE IX allows sports teams to be segregated by gender, schools themselves (and not TITLE IX) decide how many participation opportunities they will give female students as compared to male. TITLE IX does not in any way require quotas; it simply requires that schools allocate participation opportunities no discriminatorily (NCWGE 2003, website).

Every institution can comply with Title IX with three options to show fairness and equality on athletic opportunities:
a) Substantially proportionate athletic opportunities for male and female athletes.
b) A history on continuing practice of expanding opportunities for the under- represented sex.
c) Full and effective accommodation of the interests and abilities of the under-represented sex.
Also the amount of athletic aid must be proportionate to the ratio of female and male athletes (i.e. a School with 75 male athletes, and 25 female athletes with a budget of $200,000 dollars should proportionate $150, 000 to the male athletes and $50,000 to the female athletes).

Many critics argue that cases dealing with TITLE IX compliances always end with reduced amount of students involved in school athletics, and the unfairness of the three-part test. The nation’s federal courts have repeatedly upheld the three-part test as consistent with TITLE IX language and goals. All eight federal courts of appeals that have considered the issue have upheld the three-part test and none have held that the test imposes quotas. The Supreme Court refused to hear Brown University’s challenge to the three-part test, which was based on the stereotype that women are less interested than men in playing sports (NCWGE 2003, website).

TITLE IX is not designed to cut on male athletic programs. There is no place in TITLE IX where it requires cutting a men's program. Some schools have decided on their own to eliminate certain men’s sports, rather than controlling bloated football and basketball budgets (NCWGE 2003, website). In addition, it is easier for a school to cut on some programs rather that enhance more female programs, and TITLE IX is trying to revoke this mentality to enhance equality of sexes.

REFERENCES:
Sadker, David 2004. “Title IX Questions and Answers” [web page] August 2004;
http://www.american.edu/sadker/titleix.htm
[Accessed Feb 7, 2005]

Women Sports Foundation 2004. [Web page] 2001; http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/cgi-bin/iowa/issues/history/article.html?record=875
[Accessed Feb 7, 2005]

Donelly, Kilkelly, Berman, 2003[Web page] 2003;
http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/cgi-bin/iowa/issues/history/article.html?record=875
[Accessed Feb 7, 2005]

"Save Title IX" Campaign (NCWGE) National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education [web page] 2003.
http://www.savetitleix.com
[Accessed April 7, 2005]



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