Rep. George Miller (D -- Calif.), the senior democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, today issued the following statement on the 40th anniversary of Title IX. According to the National Women's Law Center, before the passage of Title IX, it was common for schools to discourage young women from studying math or science, and to encourage them to focus on domestic skills, like cooking, sewing and child rearing. There were few opportunities for girls to play sports or participate in competitive school activities. And if a high school student became pregnant, there was a strong likelihood that she would be kicked out of school.
"Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. At a time when many universities barred the admission of women and when female sports teams were scarce, Title IX marked a momentous shift for women's equality in classrooms, on playing fields, and in communities throughout our nation.
"Today, because of this landmark legislation, the full range of educational opportunity is available to all of our children, both in classroom and on the playing field, the number of female high school athletes has grown ten-fold, and the proportion of female professors in science and mathematics has more than doubled.
"As we mark the anniversary of this law, let us also recommit ourselves to making sure that Title IX continues to open the doors of opportunity for young women today, and those for generations to come."
Title IX ensures that all schools that receive federal funding provide equal opportunities to male and female students - both in the classroom and on the athletic field. This includes elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and all levels of higher education, and prohibits sex discrimination against staff members as well as students. As a result, women and girls have greater opportunities to participate in school sports, are protected from sexual harassment, cannot be discriminated against because of pregnancy, and receive the same career and technical education as their male counterparts.