[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 89 (Monday, June 23, 1997)]
[Pages H4218-H4219]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. Speaker, today marks the 25th anniversary of title IX of the 
Education Act Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in 
educational institutions receiving Federal funds.
  To commemorate the 25th anniversary of title IX, Congressman David 
Bonior, Congresswoman Marge Roukema, and I, along with 61 other 
cosponsors are introducing a concurrent resolution which celebrates the 
accomplishments of title IX and support efforts to continue pursuing 
the goal of educational opportunity for women and girls.
  I ask unanimous consent that resolution be printed in the Record.
  Since its enactment, title IX has opened the doors of educational 
opportunity to literally millions of girls and women across the Nation. 
Title IX helped tear down inequitable admissions policies, increase 
opportunities for women in nontraditional fields of study such as math 
and science, improve vocational education opportunities for women, 
reduce discrimination against pregnant students and teen mothers, 
protect female students from sexual harassment in our schools, and 
increase athletic opportunities for girls and women.
  As a member of the Education and Labor Committee in 1972, I helped to 
craft title IX and worked diligently throughout the years to promote 
this law and fight against efforts to weaken its impact. I consider 
title IX one of my most significant accomplishments while in the 
Congress and take special pride and pleasure tonight in recognizing the 
accomplishment of title IX.
  We have heard so much in recent years about the accomplishments of 
title IX, particularly in the area of athletics, but so many don't 
really know the history of this legislation and the battles that were 
fought to keep this law intact. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary 
of title IX I thought it would be appropriate to share the history of 
this landmark law, and recount its origins, its battles and its 
  The origins of title IX began in a series of hearings on sex 
discrimination in the House Education and Labor Committee in 1970, led 
by Congresswoman Edith Green, who was chair of the Special Subcommittee 
on Education at that time.
  In June 1970 the subcommittee held a hearing on legislation 
introduced by Congresswoman Green, H.R. 16098, to amend title VI of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include a prohibition against sex 
discrimination in any program or activity receiving Federal financial 
  We have to put this initiative in the context of the times. This was 
right around the time of the big push for the equal rights amendments. 
The women's movement was activated and pursuing avenues to gain equal 
rights protection in the law. Representative Green's bill would have 
provided such protection through the Civil Rights Act which had been 
passed six years prior to this time, but only covered race, color, and 
national origin.
  On July 3, 1970, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Jerris 
Leonard testified before Green's subcommittee stating that ``while we 
are not able to support this language * * * we suggest an 
alternative.'' He suggested that the committee should not amendment 
title VI of the Civil Rights Act, but enact separate legislation to 
prohibit sex discrimination in education only. This is the genesis of 
title IX.
  The House Education and Labor Committee had a large body of evidence 
of discrimination against girls and women in our education system. 
Since I came to the Congress and the committee in 1965 the committee 
had been involved in hearings related to equal educational 
opportunities for girls and women. We scrutinized textbooks which only 
portrayed successful men, admissions policies which excluded women from 
graduate and professional schools, and vocational education courses.
  Consideration of amendments to the Higher Education Act in 1971 
provided us with an opportunity to pursue language on sex 
discrimination in schools. Edith Green and I worked on language to 
include in the House bill (H.R. 7248) which would prohibit 
discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program receiving 
Federal funds.
  This provision which was initially title X of H.R. 7248 included the 
sex discrimination prohibition, authorized the Civil Rights Commission 
to investigate sex discrimination, removed the exemption of teachers 
from the equal employment coverage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 
eliminated the exemption of executives, administrators and professions 
from the Equal Pay Act.
  The bill was reported out of the House Education and Labor Committee 
on September 30. The committee report filed on October 8 and the bill 
was considered by the full House beginning on October 27, 1971.
  During consideration by the full House Rep. John Erlenborn offered an 
amendment to exempt undergraduate admissions policies of

[[Page H4219]]

colleges and universities from the prohibition on sex discrimination in 
title X. The amendment won by a 5-vote margin of 194 to 189.
  A provision (section 1007) which authorized the Civil Rights 
Commission to investigate the problem of sex discrimination was 
eliminated during the floor debate on a point of order by House 
Judiciary Committee Chairman Emanual Celler, who objected to the 
provision because it came under the jurisdiction of his committee.
  The Senate was also working on amendments to the Higher Education Act 
in 1971. The Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare reported out 
its bill (S. 659) without any provisions prohibiting sex 
  However, during the Senate floor debate on August 6, 1971, Senator 
Birch Bayh offered an amendment along with Senators Kennedy and Hart to 
ban sex discrimination in any public higher education institutions or 
graduate program receiving federal funds. Senator McGovern also 
submitted an amendment prohibiting sex discrimination in education, but 
did not offer his amendment and supported the Bayh amendment.
  A point of order was raised against the Bayh amendment by Senator 
Strom Thurmond, on the grounds that the Bayh amendment was not germane. 
The point of order was sustained by the Chair, who ruled that the 
amendment was not germane because ``The pending amendment deals with 
discrimination on the basis of sex. There are no provisions in the bill 
dealing with sex.'' A 50-to-32 rollcall vote sustained the ruling of 
the Chair that his amendment was not germane.
  The Senate reconsidered its Higher Education legislation in early 
1972, because the House had included provisions prohibiting the use of 
Federal education funds for busing which the Senate objected. Again, 
the bill coming out of committee did not include provisions banning sex 
discrimination in schools.
  However, during the Senate floor debate which began on February 22, 
1972, Senator Birch Bayh offered an amendment to prohibit sex 
discrimination in educational institutions receiving federal funds. The 
Bayh amendment exempted the admissions policies of private 
institutions, and a Bentsen amendment to the Bayh amendment provided an 
exemption for public single sex undergraduate institutions. Both 
amendments passed by voice vote.
  The House Senate Conference was held in the spring of 1972. The 
conferees retained provisions prohibiting sex discrimination, 
reconciling the differences between the House and Senate version. The 
final version of the Education Act Amendments of 1972 included title IX 
which prohibits sex discrimination in all Federal education 
institutions receiving Federal funds, except for undergraduate 
admissions policies of private higher education institutions and public 
institutions of a traditional single-sex policy. The conference report 
was filed in the Senate on May 22 and in the House on May 23. The 
Congress approved the bill on June 8 and President Nixon signed the 
bill on June 23, 1972--25 years ago today.
  Most people recognize the accomplishments of title IX in the area of 
athletics. Certainly, one of the most spectacular achievements of title 
IX has been the increased athletic opportunity for girls and women at 
every level of the educational experience. However, the impact of title 
IX in the sports arena was not controversial at first. The most 
controversial items during the original title IX debate centered around 
admissions policies.
  It wasn't until a few years later that college athletics began to 
experience the impact of title IX that we had our first big challenge 
to the law. When the coaches, and male athletes realized that they 
would have to share their facilities and budgets with the women, they 
became outraged.
  In 1975, opponents of title IX's impact on athletics proposed an 
amendment to the education appropriations bill to prohibit the 
Department of Health, Education and Welfare from promulgating the title 
IX regulations as it applies to athletics in colleges and universities.
  They paraded a number of college and professional athletes through 
the Committee room to testify that title IX hurt men's athletics. At 
the time women athletes were so few and unknown, that the only well-
known athlete we had to testify was Billy Jean King. The fact that 
there were virtually no prominent women athletes in our country was a 
testament in itself of the necessity of title IX.
  The amendment was included in the House appropriations bill (H.R. 
5901), but stricken in conference. On July 12, 1975, I managed the 
House debate against a motion by Rep. Casey to insist on the House 
position. In the midst of the vigorous debate on the issue, I was sent 
word from the cloakroom that my daughter was in a life threatening car 
accident while in college in New York. I left the floor immediately to 
go to my daughter. The Casey motion carried on a vote of 212 to 211. 
The newspapers reported that I had left the floor ``crying'' in the 
face of defeat. But in reality I was facing a tremendous family crisis.
  The next day Speaker Carl Albert took the floor and explained the 
circumstances of my departure from the floor. Congressman Flood offered 
a motion to reject the Casey position which carried by a vote of 215 to 
178, preserving the regulations and title IX's application to athletes.
  Mr. Speaker, as I have recounted this experience, you can see that 
the pursuit of title IX and its enforcement has been a personal crusade 
for me. Equal educational opportunities for women and girls is 
essential for us to achieve parity in all aspects of our society. For 
the last 25 years title IX has been the great defender of equity, let 
us celebrate its accomplishments and continue to work toward its goal 
of equal educational opportunity for all women and girls.

                            H. Con. Res. --

       Whereas 25 years ago, on June 23, 1972, title IX of the 
     Education Act Amendments of 1972 was signed into law by the 
     President of the United States;
       Whereas title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of 
     sex in the administration of any education program in any 
     educational institution receiving Federal aid;
       Whereas remarkable gains have been made to ensure equal 
     opportunity for girls and women under the inspiration and 
     mandate of title IX;
       Whereas title IX serves as the nondiscrimination principle 
     in education;
       Whereas title IX has moved this Nation closer to the 
     fulfillment of access and opportunities for women and girls 
     in all aspects of life;
       Whereas title IX has increased educational opportunities 
     for women and girls, resulting in improved graduation rates, 
     increased access to professional schools and nontraditional 
     fields of study such as math and science, and improved 
     employment opportunities;
       Whereas title IX has increased opportunities for women and 
     girls in sports, leading to greater access to competitive 
     sports, and building strong values such as teamwork, 
     leadership, discipline, work ethic, self-sacrifice, pride in 
     accomplishment, and strength of character;
       Whereas 25 years of progress under title IX is widely 
     acknowledged, but there is still much work to be done if the 
     promise of title IX is to be fulfilled: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring), That the Congress celebrates--
       (1) the accomplishments of title IX of the Education Act 
     Amendments of 1972 in increasing opportunities for women and 
     girls in all facets of education; and
       (2) the magnificent accomplishments of women and girls in 

  Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in 
celebrating the 25th anniversary of title IX of the Education Act 
Amendments of 1972.
  With the passage of this landmark civil rights law, millions of women 
and girls in our Nation have enjoyed increased social and economic 
opportunities. There is no doubt that Title IX has made it possible for 
them to become important players in the world of sports and in other 
arenas. Today, 2.4 million American girls participate in high school 
sports, a tenfold increase from two decades ago. It is much better 
today, and it will be much better 25 years from now.
  However, we must not forget that the struggle continues. Sexual 
harassment and discrimination against women in our schools has not been 
obliterated. Yes, we still have much to accomplish--as a recent NCAA 
report made abundantly clear--and we must aggressively continue to 
pursue equality. Give women fair playing time and opportunity and the 
trends indicate they will show the same levels of desire and ability in 
athletics as men.
  Mr. Speaker, as Members of Congress, we must continue to support 
title IX. Our future generations are counting on us to uphold the 
mantle of equal rights for all Americans.