2002 Statement: Increase Support for and Protect Title IX Enforcement
June 2002 marks the 30th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity that receives federal funds. Title IX has been successful in increasing educational opportunities for women and girls, however enhanced enforcement efforts are necessary to meet the statute's goals.
- In 1997, NCWGE published Title IX at 25: Report Card on Gender Equity, which examines the state of gender equity in education in nine key areas: access to higher education, athletics, career education, employment, learning environment, math and science, sexual harassment, standardized testing, and treatment of pregnant and parenting students. In June 2002, NCWGE will release Title IX at 30: Report Card on Gender Equity, which will reassess the law five years later.
- Maintain strong protections for students in any update of the 1997 Sexual Harassment Policy Guidance. Two recent Supreme Court rulings, Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District (1998) and Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education (1999) have acknowledged the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in schools and set forth the standard for when a school may have to provide monetary damages to compensate a student for sexual harassment. In Davis, the Supreme Court made it clear that schools have an obligation to address complaints of student-to-student sexual harassment. As a result of these Supreme Court rulings, the Office for Civil Rights has expressed its intent to update the 1997 Sexual Harassment Policy Guidance. NCWGE will urge OCR to maintain the 1997 policy guidance's strong protections for students and clarify that the standards set forth in the guidance continue to apply in OCR enforcement actions for the purposes of determining compliance with Title IX and non-damages relief.
- Combat Assaults on Title IX's Application to Athletics Opportunities. There are a number of organizations that have incorrectly asserted that Title IX has caused the elimination of many men's non-revenue sports programs in favor of creating more women's sports programs. The reality is that female athletes are offered fewer opportunities to compete, fewer scholarships, and fewer resources overall than their male counterparts. NCWGE will combat these assaults on Title IX by assisting in efforts to educate the public and legislators about the Title IX myths that are being advanced and in urging the Administration to continue to support OCR's enforcement activities and to fight against efforts to limit Title IX's effectiveness.
Increase Enforcement Regarding Sex Discrimination in Career Education Programs. Career education opportunities, such as vocational education, school-to-work, internships, career counseling, and job-training programs are critical to enabling women to support themselves and their families. However, women and girls continue to be underrepresented in non-traditional programs that lead to high-wage career opportunities. NCWGE will advocate for enhanced Title IX enforcement in the area of career education.