Eliminating sex discrimination through research, education and legal activities
Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana –The first person to introduce Title IX in Congress was its author and chief Senate sponsor, Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana.
At the time, Bayh was working on numerous constitutional issues related to women’s rights, including the Equal Rights Amendment, to build “a powerful constitutional base from which to move forward in abolishing discriminatory differential treatment based on sex”. As they were having some difficulty getting the ERA out of committee, the Higher Education Act of 1965 was on the floor for reauthorization, and on February 28, 1972, Senator Bayh introduced the ERA’s equal education provision as an amendment.
Prior to Title IX’s enactment women were not given the opportunities that men were. Men were the ones given academic opportunities such as scholarships and funding while women were not viewed as equal. As a result, Title IX was created. Pre- Title IX in 1971 only 1% of the athletic budgets went to female sports on the college level. On the high school level male athletes outnumbered female athletes 12.5 to 1. After Title IX, there was a 600% increase in the number of women playing college sports.
In his remarks on the Senate floor, Bayh said, “We are all familiar with the stereotype of women as pretty things who go to college to find a husband, go on to graduate school because they want a more interesting husband, and finally marry, have children, and never work again. The desire of many schools not to waste a ‘man’s place’ on a woman stems from such stereotyped notions. But the facts absolutely contradict these myths about the ‘weaker sex’ and it is time to change our operating assumptions.”
“While the impact of this amendment would be far-reaching”, Bayh concluded, “it is not a panacea. It is, however, an important first step in the effort to provide for the women of America something that is rightfully theirs—an equal chance to attend the schools of their choice, to develop the skills they want, and to apply those skills with the knowledge that they will have a fair chance to secure the jobs of their choice with equal pay for equal work”.
Title IX became law on June 23, 1972. When President Nixon signed the bill, he spoke mostly about desegregation busing, but did not mention the expansion of educational access for women he had enacted.
Senator Bayh exercises with Title IX athletes at Purdue University, ca. 1970s.
The wording of Title IX is very brief, requiring specific language and clarifications to be articulated in its implementing regulations. President Nixon directed the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) to carry this out.
Title IX would affect men’s athletics and prompted some concern to look for ways to limit the influence of Title IX. Senator Bayh spent the next three years keeping watch over HEW to get regulations formulated that carried out its legislative intent of eliminating discrimination in higher education on the basis of sex. When they were issued in summer 1975 they were contested, and hearings were held by the House Subcommittee on Equal Opportunities on the discrepancies between the regulations and the law. In 1974, Senator John Tower introduced the Tower Amendment, which would have exempted revenue-producing sports from Title IX compliance. Later that year, the Tower Amendment was rejected and the Javits Amendment, proposed by Senator Jacob Javits, stating that the HEW must include “reasonable provisions considering the nature of particular sports” was adopted in its place.
In June 1975, HEW published the final regulations detailing how Title IX would be enforced. The regulations were codified in the Federal Register in the Code of Federal Regulations Volume 34, Part 106 (34 C.F.R. [https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/34/106 106]34 C.F.R. 106). It was not until this step was completed that many people truly understood the ramifications of Title IX as it would apply to college athletics. Universities receiving Federal financial assistance were given three years to comply with the Title IX regulations. The NCAA claimed that the implementation of Title IX was illegal. A revised Tower Amendment was proposed and many debates occurred[vague] but Title IX stood.
In 1979, HEW, under Jimmy Carter’s administration, issued further clarifications in its Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Interpretation.
In 1980, HEW was split into two separate agencies in accordance with the Department of Education Organization Act—the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Education (ED). Responsibility for Title IX enforcement in educational institutions was delegated to ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
The regulations and Policy Interpretation clarified of a number of key issues. Separate teams and equal opportunity and can be found in 34 C.F.R. 106.41, comparable facilities in 34 C.F.R. 106.33, and financial assistance in Section 34 C.F.R. 106.37. These subsections explain that evaluating the equality of these sections “strictly based on expenditures is an unfair method for evaluating equity.” The OCR came up with a way “to investigate” the equality of schools and institutions called, the Investigator’s Manual on July 28, 1980. The OCR went even further years later and issued three letters of clarification in 1996, 1998 and 2003. The first letter (1996) was written to clarify the proportionality test, the second (1998) to clarify the meaning of “substantially equal,” and the third (2003) was to reaffirm the first clarification letter after a number of commission discussions and hearings.
Further legislation and regulations
Representative Patsy Mink of Hawaii, Title IX co-author, for whom the law was renamed in 2002.
The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 was passed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1984 ruling Grove City College v. Bell in which the Court held that Title IX applied only to those programs receiving direct federal aid. The case reached the Supreme Court when Grove City College disagreed with the Department of Education’s assertion that it was required to comply with Title IX. Grove City College was not a federally funded institution; however, they did accept students who were receiving Basic Educational Opportunity Grants through a Department of Education program. The Department of Education’s stance was that, because some of its students were receiving federal grants, the school was receiving federal assistance and Title IX applied to it. The Court decided that since Grove City College was only receiving federal funding through the grant program, only that program had to be in compliance. The ruling was a major victory for those opposed to Title IX, as it made many institutions’ sports programs outside of the rule of Title IX and, thus, reduced the scope of Title IX. Grove City’s victory, however, was short-lived. The Civil Rights Restoration Act was passed in 1988 which extended Title IX coverage to all programs of any educational institution that receives any federal assistance, both direct and indirect.
In 1994, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, sponsored by congresswoman Cardiss Collins, required federally assisted higher education institutions to disclose information on roster sizes for men’s and women’s teams, as well as budgets for recruiting, scholarships, coaches’ salaries, and other expenses, annually.
In October 2002, less than a month after the death of Rep. Patsy Mink, Congress passed a resolution to rename Title IX the “Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act,” which President George W. Bush signed into law.
On November 24, 2006, the Title IX regulations were amended to provide greater flexibility in the operation of single-sex classes or extracurricular activities at the primary or secondary school level.