Title IX is a federal law passed in 1972 ensuring the right of females to participate equally in sports offered in public schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges and universities. Title IX applies to any school in the United States that receives federal funding, even if much of the school’s income is state or locally based. Title IX requires that:
(1) girls have equal opportunities to play school sports (as in number of team slots);
(2) girls have equal treatment and benefits in school sports programs (such as facilities);
(3) girls cannot be retaliated against for making a complaint about inequalities.2. Why Does Title IX Matter?
Girls who play sports excel in academics, lead healthier lives, and succeed in employment as adults. Studies show that young women who play sports are more likely to graduate from high school, have higher grades, and score higher on standardized tests than non-athletes. Girls who play sports in high school earn 7% higher wages working as adults and those who play in college more often reach top management positions.3. Title IX – Fun Facts
To determine Title IX compliance, a school’s athletic program is assessed to see whether on the whole female and male athletes have the same participation opportunities, treatment, and benefits, based on the following general analysis:
Participation Opportunities: First, Title IX requires that the number of athletic opportunities for boys and girls—meaning slots on competitive school sports teams—are proportionate to the number of girl and boy students at the school. For example:
Equal Treatment & Benefits: Second, Title IX requires that male and female athletes have equivalent treatment and benefits. Known as the “laundry list,” considered factors include:
For example, if male athletes typically play on the newer, nicer field or court in comparison to facilities female athletes use, or if male athletes have more uniforms per team in comparison to female athletes, an equal treatment and benefits complaint may be made under Title IX. Note: Even if booster clubs donate funds to male teams, schools must ensure benefits are equally distributed among male and female athletes.
No Retaliation: Third, a school or school district, may not retaliate because a complaint is made about gender inequities in the athletic program. Retaliation could take the form of benching a player or firing a coach after inequality concerns are raised.5. What Can You Do to Enforce Title IX in Your School?
If you see inequities in a school’s athletic program, you may contact the school or district’s Title IX Coordinator, the individual designated to receive and investigate Title IX complaints. If no such coordinator is available, you can complain directly to the principal or school district. The Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights also handles Title IX complaints. Finally,Fair Play for Girls in Sports can be contacted at any time for assistance with Title IX concerns or questions through our toll-free number [877-593-0074] or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.