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Education Equality

Title IX Coordinators

Well informed Title IX coordinators are needed to counteract the neglect of Title IX and help all educators and students learn about their rights to be treated in a non sex discriminatory way. Title IX regulations specify that each recipient of federal financial assistance “designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out Title IX responsibilities.” However, this requirement has been poorly implemented. In response to requests from Title IX activists, in 1997 and again in 2004 the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights sent “Dear Colleague” letters to state education agencies, the 17,000 local school districts, and postsecondary institutions to remind them to comply with this law. Without the essential Title IX coordinators in place, educators, parents, and students are frequently left unable to effectively solve or prevent problems. A recent study suggests that fewer than 50 percent of educators understand what Title IX covers and that only a miniscule percent of students and parents are aware of their rights under Title IX.

Even when Title IX coordinators are designated, few are full time or receive funds for gender equity programs. In many cases, the person designated as the Title IX coordinator has other unrelated primary assignments, ranging from superintendent to football coach and may not be very interested in full implementation of Title IX. Few Title IX coordinators receive the support, training, technical assistance, and recognition that they need to perform even the minimum complaint-related aspects of their jobs. Thus, their Title IX responsibilities are often ignored or given short shrift.

Although the Title IX regulations require that the names and contact information of Title IX coordinators be made public, there is no comprehensive listing of Title IX coordinators. However, we now have a list of Title IX Coordinators and Gender-Equity Experts in State Education Agencies (PDF). The Obama administration has promised to create a website of postsecondary education Title IX coordinators and is collecting information including names and email contacts of K-12 school district Title IX coordinators via its Civil Rights Data Collection. Fewer than ten states appear to have lists of Title IX coordinators at the local district level and so far even fewer states provide these contacts on their websites. We simply do not know how many Title IX coordinators have been appointed at any education level. However, we estimate that there should be over 120,000 Title IX coordinators in institutions that receive federal financial assistance for education purposes such as state education agencies, local education agencies, public and private schools at all education levels, postsecondary institutions, museums, libraries, recreation departments, and prisons.

In April 2015 the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the US Department of Education (ED) issued important guidance on the roles and responsibilities of Title IX Coordinators (See below). This complements other ED guidance on coordinators’ specific responsibilities in areas such as athletics, the prevention of sexual harassment and violence, career and technical education, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the rights of pregnant and parenting students, and avoiding sex discriminatory sex segregation, etc. Thus, it is increasingly important for Title IX coordinators with specialized expertise to work as teams. We also recommend that they work with external equity advocates and provide training and technical assistance to their educator colleagues as well as other parent and community stakeholders.

Our goal is to drastically increase the numbers of trained, activist Title IX coordinators and have them listed along with useful Title IX information on their school websites so that they can be easily identified by those they are supposed to serve in their communities. This will enable coordinators to communicate with each other and their stakeholders to help them perform their Title IX coordinator responsibilities and better comply with the 2015 OCR guidance.

Title IX Coordinators: Key to Fighting Sex Discrimination in Education (PDF)
History and Responsibilities of Title IX Coordinators
Title IX on State Education Agency Websites - 2005 Report 
Title IX on State Education Agency Websites - 2008 Report 
List of Title IX Coordinators and Gender-Equity Experts in State Education Agencies (PDF)
Essential Resources for Title IX Coordinators

This 2015 OCR Title IX coordinator guidance is found in a letter to school district superintendents or college presidents),  a second letter to Title IX Coordinators,  and a Title IX Resource Guide.

Take Action

Each Title IX Coordinator should sign up to become a Title IX Activist by participating in the Title IX Action Network and receiving electronic Title IX alerts, news stories, and updates on the Network.

Contribute to the Title IX Action Network by: