The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states:
No 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.
Scope of Title IX
Title IX applies to schools, local and state educational agencies, and other institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the Department. These recipients include approximately 17,600 local school districts, over 5,000 postsecondary institutions, and 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 of the United States.
A recipient institution that receives Department funds must operate its education program or activity in a nondiscriminatory manner free of discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Some key issue areas in which recipients have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment, which encompasses sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; treatment of LGBTQI+ students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment. Also, no recipient or other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its implementing regulations, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in a proceeding under Title IX. For a recipient to retaliate in any way is considered a violation of Title IX. The Department’s Title IX regulations (Volume 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 106) provide additional information about the forms of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
OCR’s Enforcement of Title IX
OCR vigorously enforces Title IX to ensure that institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the Department comply with the law. OCR evaluates, investigates, and resolves complaints alleging sex discrimination. OCR also conducts proactive investigations, through directed investigations or compliance reviews, to examine potential systemic violations based on sources of information other than complaints.
In addition to its enforcement activities, OCR provides information and guidance to schools, universities and other educational institutions and agencies to assist them in voluntarily complying with the law.
To learn more about filing a complaint with OCR, please visit
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html. For assistance related to Title IX or other civil rights laws, please contact OCR at OCR@ed.gov or 800-421-3481, TDD 800-877-8339.
On request, this publication is available in alternate formats, such as Braille or large print. For more information, please contact the Department’s Alternate Format Center at 202-260-0818 or via e-mail at email@example.com. If you have difficulty understanding English, you may request language assistance services for Department information that is available to the public. These language assistance services are available free of charge. If you need more information about interpretation or translation services, please call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800- 872-5327) (TTY: 1-800-877-8339), email us at Ed.Language.Assistance@ed.gov, or write to U.S. Department of Education, Information Resource Center, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202.