The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a guidance package
on April 24, 2015 discussing the obligation of school districts, colleges, and universities to designate a Title IX coordinator and providing guidelines for addressing sex discrimination in education programs and activities and meeting other Title IX requirements.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. The spirit of Title IX is that an institution may not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or treat differently any person on the basis of sex unless authorized to do so under Title IX.
OCR's guidance package includes three documents:
- A Dear Colleague Letter to school districts, colleges, and universities emphasizing their obligation to designate a Title IX coordinator and explaining the role of the Title IX coordinator.
- A letter to Title IX coordinators that provides information about their important role.
- A Title IX resource guide that includes a summary of Title IX's requirements in several areas including recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; single-sex education; employment; and retaliation.
Each educational institution should ensure that a Title IX coordinator has been designated. A Title IX coordinator is charged with coordinating the educational institution's efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX. The Dear Colleague Letter stressed the essential role that a Title IX coordinator plays in assisting an educational institution with complying with Title IX and emphasized the need for the Title IX coordinator to have independence, the support of the educational institution, appropriate training, and visibility by complying with required notices.
For additional information regarding the OCR's April 24, 2015 guidance package, Title IX and other laws prohibiting sex discrimination, please contact one of our nine offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or download our Client News Brief App.