print Print    Share Share  

Education Equality

Threats to Title IX

The Bush administration has worked to weaken Title IX and the educational equality it guarantees. From sports to vocational and technical education to sex segregation, the past four years have seen a variety of attempts to diminish Title IX. “The Bush administration conducted a stealth attack on Title IX, and women and girls cannot and must not let them get away with it,” says Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal.

Recent Threats to Title IX:

In April 2010 the Obama Administration Withdrew the Bush-Era  2005 Athletics Guidance Which Weakened Title IX Compliance Standards.
In March 2005, the Department of Education released a policy clarification letter weakening the requirements of Part Three of the three-part test that provides guidance on the Title IX regulations to eliminate sex discrimination in intercollegiate athletics.  The Department attended to public pressure in 2003 when they rejected similar weakening provisions recommended by The Secretary of Education ’s Commission on Equal Opportunity in Athletics. This threat has now ended.

Sex Segregation
In March 2004, the Bush Administration proposed changes to the Title IX Regulations that would make it easier to have sex-segregated classes and schools with no guarantee of equality. The Office for Civil Rights in the US Department of Education received over 5,000 public comments on the proposal. An estimated 96% of these comments were opposed to the Department's proposal to increase sex segregation in education instead of decreasing sex discrimination, the sole purpose of Title IX. On October 25, 2006 the Department issued new Title IX Regulations which are similar to its proposed 2004 draft Regulations. more...

Inadequate Federal Support and Neglect Threatens the Effectiveness of Title IX
Title IX is often poorly understood and poorly implemented by educators, parents, and students. For example, relatively few education agencies comply with the Title IX regulation to appoint, train, and make available their Title IX coordinators. Also, federal support for assistance providers such as the Women’s Educational Equity Act Resource Center and programs designed to help educators comply with Title IX has disappeared. more...

Chief Justice John Roberts Has Record Limiting Title IX Protections
An examination of Roberts' papers reveals that he was for narrowly construing women's rights and civil rights. He wrote in favor of limiting racial integration via busing, and narrowing coverage of Title IX and affirmative action. For example, in a memo to the attorney general in August 1982, Roberts said he agreed with a decision by a federal district court that limited Title IX. Roberts argued Title IX should only apply to specific programs receiving federal aid, not entire universities. This argument was used by the Reagan Administration in Grove City v. Bell, a 1984 US Supreme Court decision that gutted Title IX. Feminist led the fight to reinstate full coverage of Tittle IX with the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987.

As a private lawyer in 2001, Roberts argued against Title IX again in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) v. Smith case, where he won the decision that NCAA was not covered by Title IX. Prior to that, when Roberts was Deputy Solicitor General in the first Bush Administration, he filed a "friend of the court" brief arguing that a student who was sexually harassed by her coach and teacher shouldn't be allowed to sue.

Title IX Critic Appointed to US Circuit Court of Appeals
Thomas B. Griffith, who recommended eliminating the proportionality part of the three-prong test while on the Secretary's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, is now serving on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Numerous progressive groups opposed Griffith's June 2005 lifelong appointment because of his views on Title IX and other laws over which the DC Appeals Court has jurisdiction.

Athletics Commission Almost Succeeded in Weakening Title IX
The Secretary's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, convened to review standards governing Title IX's application to athletics, recommended changes that would weaken Title IX. After broad public support for Title IX and the comments of an outspoken minority among the Commission members, the US Department of Education decided not to act on any of the recommendations made by the Commission that would weaken Title IX. more...