March 9, 2023
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released three new resources that will help students, parents, athletics staff, and administrators evaluate whether a school is providing equal athletic opportunities regardless of sex.
In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, public elementary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities who receive federal funding have a responsibility to provide these equal athletic opportunities regardless of sex in a few key areas including:
- benefits, opportunities and treatment;
- meeting students’ interests and athletic abilities; and
- (for Higher Education specifically) scholarships and financial assistance.
These newly released resources found here provide examples of how to evaluate your school’s athletic programs through Title IX as well as guidance on what parents, students, or others can do if they feel like a school is not offering equal athletic opportunities under Title IX in its athletic programs.
These new resources are useful tools for Title IX Coordinators at the K-12 and Higher Education levels. Use them to evaluate and measure your athletic programs for Title IX compliance. Remember, because equal opportunities in athletics fall under Title IX, your school needs a procedure to respond to complaints of this nature. Reports of athletics equity do not require a response under the prescriptive 2020 Title IX regulations formal grievance process. Nonetheless, these reports fall under Title IX and require a response by your school. Your policies and procedures should clearly outline the process your school will follow in these matters for your students and employees that includes the Title IX Coordinator. Consider (1) is it clear how to report these grievances and to whom; and (2) what process your school or institution will follow in its response and outcome?
Title IX Coordinators should be proactive in connecting with athletics administrators now to make sure your school has a good plan for evaluating your compliance and responding to complaints that may present in athletics equity.
If you need assistance with Title IX Athletics compliance, ICS is here. For more information, you can also visit OCR’s Title IX Athletics overview page found here.