Title IX is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based on sex at educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) is responsible for enforcing Title IX.
Under Title IX, “[n]o 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.”
Title IX applies to institutions that receive federal financial assistance, including state and local educational agencies. These agencies include approximately 16,500 local school districts, 7,000 postsecondary institutions, as well as charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries, and museums. Also included are vocational rehabilitation agencies and education agencies of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories and possessions of the United States.
Educational programs and activities that receive federal funds must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Some key issue areas in which educational institutions have Title IX obligations are:
- sexual harassment
- sexual assault
- financial assistance
- treatment of pregnant and parenting students
An institution that receives federal funds may not retaliate against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or making charges, testifying or participating in any complaint action under Title IX. For an institution to retaliate in any way against a person who makes a Title IX claim is considered a violation of Title IX.
For more information, please contact Title IX attorney Patricia Davis, Ph.D.