Title IX: What you need to know…

Title IX was created in 1972 to require gender equity in all educational programs that receive funding from the government.

One of the largest aspects of Title IX is athletics, and most accusations involving Title IX involved gender equity in athletics. The Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights are responsible for assuring that athletic programs stay in compliance with Title IX. If athletic programs do not stay in compliance with Title IX, they could lose some or even all of their federal funding.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, athletic programs have three ways to comply with Title IX called prongs. A program is in compliance with Title IX when they pass one of these three prongs.

Prong three deals with student interests and abilities. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this prong calls for the interest and abilities of male and female students to be equally and effectively accommodated. Schools can do this by surveying the underrepresented sex, and then adding the sports based on the interest returned.

Prong two involves historically adding sports to the underrepresented sex. This practice must have evidence of being continued through the program expansion. This prong usually is performed in tandem with the surveying method discussed in prong three.

Prong one, which Liberty University is moving towards, calls for a program to have proportional numbers of participation and enrollment. This means that the ratio of male to female students enrolled in the student body must equal the ration of male to female student athletes. Funding also has to be proportional.

Title IX applies to all high school and college athletic programs, from the smallest high school to the largest university. Just this week, the Office for Civil Rights announced an investigation of Yale University due to Title IX regulations.

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