Title IX Regulations

SSmith (SSmith@edc.org)
Mon, 4 May 1998 18:10:24 -0400

Last Friday (May 1, 1998), The Wall Street Journal printed

the following letter (except the last paragraph) from Verna

Williams, Senior Counsel at the National Women's Law Center

and former Chair of the National Coalition for Women and

Girls in Education. The article she is responding to is

available at: <http://www.iwf.org/article.cfm?ID=3D159&TO=3D0>

Susan J. Smith



April 23, 1998

Letters to the Editor
The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, New York 10281

To the Editors:

According to Jessica Gavora, new regulations =

implementing Title IX mean the sky soon will be falling =

under the weight of Clinton-imposed quotas in education. =

("Clinton's Classroom Quotas," April 21, 1998). She is just =

plain wrong.

The regulations that have yet to be issued do not =

represent an "enormous expansion" of Title IX. Congress =

ordered executive branch agencies to develop implementing =

regulations almost 26 years ago when it enacted -- and =

then-President Nixon signed -- Title IX of the Education =

Amendments of 1972 (which, incidentally, was not an =

amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Ms. Gavora =

claims). Today, only four agencies have done so. When the =

Department of Justice responds to last year's directive to =

issue Title IX regulations, it finally will bring federal =

agencies into compliance with the law.

Second, neither Title IX nor the existing =

regulations requires quotas in athletics or any other aspect =

of educational programming. In athletics, the Department of =

Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) policy =

interpretations allow schools three ways to demonstrate =

compliance with Title IX:

=95 if they offer athletic opportunities to male and =

female students in substantial proportion (not "exact =

proportion") to their respective enrollments; or

=95 if they can show a history and continuing practice =

of expanding such opportunities for the under-represented =

sex; or

=95 if the interests and abilities of the =

under-represented sex have been fully and effectively =


A school need only pass any one of these tests to comply =

with the law. The federal courts uniformly have upheld Title =

IX's regulations and the Department of Education =

interpretations in this respect. Most recently, the Supreme =

Court refused to hear Brown's challenge to Title IX, which =

was premised on the archaic stereotype that men are more =

interested in sports participation than women. =

Compounding her mischaracterization of the legal =

standard, Ms. Gavora blames Title IX for cuts in certain =

men's minor sports. Some schools have decided, based on =

their own budget constraints, to take such actions. But =

Title IX does not require and OCR has never forced them to =

do so. Schools that have eliminated these programs just as =

easily could have trimmed bloated football and basketball =

budgets, which consume a whopping 73% of the average =

Division I-A school's total men's athletic operating budget =

-- even though many of these programs are not revenue =

producing. A 1993 study showed that 62% of Division I-A and =

I-AA football programs, for example, didn't produce enough =

revenues to pay for themselves, much less for any other =

sports. =

Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit =

sex discrimination in any federally funded education program =

or activity, pure and simple. And, despite Title IX's =

considerable success in opening some doors to female =

students, statistical and anecdotal evidence show that =

barriers to female students persist. For example, female =

athletes have fewer opportunities to play sports in college =

and high school and frequently are relegated to inferior =

facilities and equipment. Research shows that female =

students in every level of education confront sexual =

harassment; indeed, courts are sorting through cases =

regarding school inaction in the face of sexual assault =

among elementary school students.

The day-to-day effects of these intransigent =

inequities are destructive to the children and young people =

who endure them in order to get an education -- not Title =

IX. If the new regulations are successful in eliminating =

this discrimination, when they finally are issued, that will =

mean a better day for all our sons and daughters.


Verna L. Williams
Senior Counsel

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