Happy Birthday, Title IX!

June 23

Today is the 51st anniversary of Title IX, the law that ensures that girls and women have equal access in education – including in sports. Prior to Title IX, girls often lacked the same access to sports teams and opportunities as their male peers. They might have to deal with inferior equipment and practice schedules – if they had a girls’ team at all

For some perspective on the significance of Title IX, consider this stat: before Title IX, 1 in 27 girls played sports, while today that number is 2 in 5. Talk about a difference! 

What does Title IX mean for female athletes? And what did girls’ sports look like before Title IX? Watch this short video we received in 2020 from Pat McWethy, a fellow Family Policy Foundation reader. 

Thanks to Title IX, the top-of-mind threat to girls’ sports today is not whether a typical public school will offer a program. It’s the fact that even though girls have their own sports, they face the real possibility that a male athlete (who has physical advantages) might join the team and take a roster spot, a championship title, or even a scholarship that was meant for a female.  

And that’s why we can’t talk about Title IX without talking about Save Girls’ Sports. At Family Policy Alliance, we were proud to partner with our state ally, Idaho Family Policy Center, to pass the first-ever Save Girls’ Sports law that ensures girls’ sports are reserved just for girls. In the 3 years since then, over 20 states have passed laws to ensure that girls’ sports are reserved just for girls. And, more than half of states have introduced the legislation, even if it didn’t pass. Americans are united on this critical issue. 

The Biden Administration has gone all-out to undermine our success. A new rule proposes to re-interpret Title IX as a way to directly threaten schools that abide by Save Girls’ Sports laws enacted in these 22 states – nearly half the country.

Our sister entity, Family Policy Alliance, submitted an official comment on the rule and encouraged you all to do the same. The end result? Over 4,000 of you spoke out! Now, the Biden Administration has delayed making their final decision on the rule – likely because they received so many comments from people like you! (Something you can be sure we’ll keep you posted about.) 

In the meanwhile, we’re celebrating Title IX, female athletes, and the states that are standing up to protect them – and we’re working to make sure that girls around the country can have such protections! If you want to support our efforts to Save Girls’ Sports (and so much more!), click here. The work we’ve done so far is made possible through your partnership, and we know there’s much more to do! 

Here’s to more victories to come! 

Meridian Baldacci
Director, Strategy