Title IX backfires?

Kathy Fadigan (fadigan@say.acnatsci.org)
Tue, 23 Jun 1998 17:07:36 -0500

I would like to share an interesting situation that has arisen in our
institution. We're not quite sure as to what steps we should take at this
point, and I would love to hear some feedback from this list.

For the past sixteen years the Academy of Natural Sciences has conducted a
program for low-income, high schools girls from single-parent households.
The program, called Women in Natural Sciences (WINS), is a year-long
science enrichment program supported entirely by a private funder. The
program was expanded in 1993 to serve students for an additional year with
opportunities for advanced study in the natural sciences. Some of these
opportunities include internships in the museum with scientists, or travel
to colleges for summer programs.

This year the museum decided to replicate the program at the Academy's two
off-site laboratory sites to test the original model. We were encouraged
to apply for US Dept. of Education (OERI) funds. We submitted a proposal
and were told that there was an issue about it being a single-sex program.
This we understood, and agreed to alter our grant proposal to include boys
in the expansion.

Here's the bigger issue. During a conference call with US DOE staff and
lawyers we were informed that we were in violation of Title IX due to the
presence of our privately funded original WINS program. Eventhough this
particular program does not receive any federal funding, our instituion's
research division does receive NSF and EPA funding. We were basically told
that we can no longer run the original, privately funded WINS Program as
girls-only program.

Does this sound right? We do offer other educational programs for both
girls and boys, although none are like the WINS program. If this is truly
the case what would are options be? And how does this affect the rest of
the all girls program that are supported by federal funds such as NSF?

I would appreciate your imput. Thanks.

Kathy Fadigan
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Ben Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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