Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: What is Title IX?
Answer: Title IX is the law that gave girls and women an equal opportunity in sports as boys and men. Title IX was passed in 1972 and was signed by Richard Nixon.
FAQ: Who enforces Title IX?
Answer: The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is the Federal agency empowered to enforce Title IX.
FAQ: Who is responsible for enforcing Title IX?
Answer: Every school, by law is required to designate a Title IX Coordinator. Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator must be readily available to school faculty, staff and students.
FAQ: Is there a penalty for Title IX non-compliance?
Answer: Yes! Schools can lose federal funds for violating the law. Although most institutions are not in compliance with Title IX.
FAQ: Does Title IX require that we hire women to be the coaches for our women’s athletics teams?
Answer: No. Title IX mandates that your school’s female student-athletes should have access to a quality of coaching comparable to your male student-athletes. The relevant criteria are the expertise, experience, success, etc. of your coaching candidates, not their gender. It is important to note, however, that a variety of Federal and state employment laws exist which are separate and distinct from Title IX and which make it clear that you may not discriminate on the basis of gender in your recruitment and hiring of coaches.
FAQ: Our school has 30 girls participating in cheerleading, 25 in pom poms, and 50 on drill team. Can we count theses activities as sports and these girls as athletic participants for Title IX purposes?
Answer: No. Despite the fact that cheerleading, danceline, and other related activities are competitive activities requiring a high degree of athleticism and which provide regularly scheduled “contests” very similar to any other sport, the OCR does not at this time consider these activities as sports for purposes of complying with Title IX.
FAQ: How do I determine whether we satisfy the third prong of the three-part test-fully and effectively accommodating the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex?
Answer: By determining whether there are concrete and viable interests among the underrepresented sex that should be accommodated by the school’s athletic program. OCR has recently clarified that a school will be found in compliance with part three unless there exists a sport(s) for the underrepresented sex for which all three of the following conditions are met: (1) unmet interest sufficient to sustain a team in the sport(s); (2) sufficient ability to sustain a team in the sport(s); and (3) reasonable expectation of competition for a team in a sport()s) with the school’s normal competitive region.
FAQ: How are we to measure the students’ interests in sport activities?
Answer: The biennial determination of a student interest survey.
FAQ: If my school provides an equal number of male and female sports, does that mean we are automatically in compliance?
Answer: No, Title IX requires an analysis of overall equivalence of opportunity to participate in sports that is much more complex than mere quality in the number of sports offered.
FAQ: Can my school have only a football or wrestling booster club?
Answer: Maybe. If the school has a mechanism in place to ensure that equivalent benefits, treatment, services and opportunities are proved to males and females despite large portions of funding being raised specifically for one team.
FAQ: If we are not in compliance, can we eliminate a sport in order to bring us into compliance?
Answer: This is not the recommended solution. OCR has repeatedly stated that nothing in Title IX requires the cutting or reduction of teams in order to demonstrate compliance with Title IX and that the elimination of teams is a disfavored practice. Because the elimination of teams diminishes opportunities for students who are interested in participating in athletics instead of enhancing opportunities for students who have suffered from discrimination, it is contrary to the spirit of Title IX for the government to require or encourage a school to eliminate athletic teams.
FAQ: Can a coach file a Title Ix complaint?
Answer: Yes. Players, parents, coaches, and any other third parties may file a Title Ix complaint with the OCR complaints. Numerous Title IX investigations have been initiated by public interest groups on the behalf of women athletes at a particular. state.
FAQ: Our district is facing substantial budget cuts, and we cannot afford to provide equal athletic opportunities for both male and female students. What do we do?
Answer: Lack of funds does not excuse discrimination. Schools should, in advance of proposed budget cuts, develop a mechanism to ensure that equivalent benefits, treatment, services and opportunities are provided for males and females as programs face elimination or as resources are reallocated.
FAQ: Our school’s athletic budget is divided equally between boys’ and girls’ programs, but our booster clubs provide more extra benefits to boys’ football and boys’ basketball than to any other boys’ sports or to any girls’ sports. Is this a violation of Title IX?
Answer: Maybe. Schools must ensure that, in an overall sense, considering all athletic programs as a whole, that comparable benefits are provided to boys and girls. Booster club support must be included in this evaluation, therefore the school must take care to monitor and ensure that the extra booster club support does not create an imbalance between the boys’ and girls’ athletic programs.
FAQ: Several of our coaches and teams work very hard carrying out fund-raising activities of their own to raise extra money to buy new uniforms, pay for extra equipment and finance extra team trips. If our boys’ teams raise more money with such fund-raising activities, will this create a Title IX violation?
Answer: Probably not. It is important to remember that all athletics benefits and resources, whatever their source, must be considered in evaluating compliance with Title IX. Therefore, technically, even money form team fund-raising activities and the items purchased with that money, must be considered I assessing overall equivalence between programs. Assuming, however, that the amounts from such fund-raising are unlikely to create an overall imbalance, a Title IX violation will probably not be created.