The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) released a multi-year report entitled Reinvigorating the Role of Title IX Coordinator: A Requirement and Resource.(Executive Summary PDF) / (Full Report PDF) The report describes the current status of Title IX Coordinators in state education agencies, school districts and colleges and universities across the county, and discusses the important roles of Title IX Coordinators and ways to reinvigorate support for these employees who are responsible for helping their institutions eliminate sex discrimination in education.
The report highlights recent efforts by the US Department of Education (ED) to identify 16,000 school district and 7,000 college and university Title IX Coordinators and to make this contact information available on two websites, the Civil Rights Data Collection and the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website. It also discusses limited compliance with the ED Office for Civil Rights (OCR) 2015 guidance on the proactive roles of Title IX Coordinators in ensuring that their schools actively identify and prevent all types of sex discrimination ranging from academics to athletics, employment, career and technical education, STEM, sexual harassment and assault and sex segregation.
FMF noted that these ED actions were just a start. There should be many more than the 23,000 Title IX Coordinators listed as contacts in the two ED Title IX Coordinator websites. Moreover, the 16,000 school district Title IX Coordinators should be working with Title IX Coordinators in their 95,000 K-12 public schools as well as with their state education agency (SEA) Title IX Coordinators. Furthermore, to comply with the 2015 Title IX Coordinator guidance recommendations, school districts and school websites should make it easy for all the stakeholders to find their Title IX Coordinators.
The FMF report concludes that much can be done to reinvigorate compliance with the original 1975 Title IX Regulations on Coordinator requirements and to use Title IX Coordinators as a catalyst to build a national infrastructure to fully and purposefully end both implicit and explicit sex discrimination and sex stereotyping in education. The vertical infrastructure networks include federal, state, local district and school level Title IX Coordinators. The horizontal networks include peer Title IX Coordinators, race, disabilities and other equity colleagues; gender equity experts; and other stakeholders.
Other recommendations include: increasing the numbers of well-trained effective and empowered Title IX Coordinators to over 100,000; providing easily accessible web information on all Title IX Coordinators and on their school’s Title IX compliance; and providing administrative, policy, training, networking, and research support to Title IX Coordinators so they will be effective individually and as a team.
Additional federal funding and guidance is needed to implement these recommendations. The Patsy T. Mink Gender Equity Education Act of 2016, introduced in the Senate and the House in July, would establish a Department of Education Office of Gender Equity, a Gender Equity Resource Center Website, and grants to support training, assistance and assessment of Title IX Coordinators. This initiative would go a long way to reinvigorating Title IX Coordinators and disseminating best practices to prevent sex discrimination in education.