Today is the 37th anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all levels of education. The law, which was originally passed in 1972, reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Regulations for implementing Title IX were issued in 1975, and require that schools publish grievance procedures and have Title IX coordinators.
Lawsuits alleging violations of Title IX abound. Just last week, the University of California, Davis, reached a settlement in a Title IX lawsuit that alleged female athletes at the university did not have sufficient opportunities, according to the Sacramento Bee. The settlement includes a ten-year plan for increasing women’s participation in varsity sports, the addition of a varsity field-hockey team for women, and a $110,000 funding boost for club sports. The students’ lawyer, Noreen Farrell, said of the settlement, “when we give women a fair share of athletic opportunities, we are developing leaders on and off the field,” reported the Sacramento Business Journal.
Traditionally, judges have used the guidelines of Title IX to ensure that the proportion of female athletes is within 5% of the proportion of female students. The UC Davis settlement requires a 1.5% standard, and could influence future Title IX lawsuits, reported the New York Times. UC Davis has 10 years to enforce the new guidelines and has been given permission to cut men’s teams in order to meet the terms.