On June 23, 2022, Title IX turns 50. This groundbreaking educational amendment prohibits the discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs or activities in federally funded educational institutions—including middle schools and high schools. It became law in 1972.
Title IX is most often associated with athletics, but it covers much more. Prior to Title IX, many schools did not let female students take classes like auto mechanics or let male students take home economics. Colleges limited the number of female students that they admitted and required higher test scores than for male applicants. Sports scholarships for female students were extremely rare.
The original statute was only 37 words long, but it has grown into a body of law to protect the rights of all students. Today, its impact on sports and equality in education makes it one of the most significant civil rights laws.