The law that forbids sex discrimination in education, known as Title IX, requires organizations to designate a Title IX coordinator. It is important to know the basics about the Title IX coordinator role to ensure your school or district’s appointee can help create a non-discriminatory, effective learning environment that complies with the law.
New rules in effect
Please note there are new Title IX regulations in effect as of August 14, 2020. Schools must comply with these rules, including fulfilling the training and posting requirements. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Legal Liability Risk Consultant, Charli Searcy.
Coordinator and notification requirement
According to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), each school or school district that receives federal funds is required to designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its Title IX responsibilities. Those responsibilities include investigating complaints communicated to the school regarding Title IX compliance and prohibitions.
Additionally, schools and school districts are required to post or publish a notice of nondiscrimination emphasizing:
- The school district does not discriminate on the basis of sex.
- Title IX questions should be directed to the Title IX coordinator or to OCR.
The notice should also include the Title IX coordinator’s contact information, including their name, office address, telephone number, and email address. Your organization must also inform the Title IX coordinator of all Title IX reports and complaints, even those initially made to another person or office.
Suggestion: Consider introducing your Title IX coordinator to students and staff during meetings or assemblies at the beginning of every school year to explain their role and provide their contact information. This should be done annually, even if the Title IX coordinator remains the same.
A Title IX coordinator should be an employee who:
- Can serve in this role without it conflicting with their other job responsibilities
- Can serve in this capacity at all times
- Has the knowledge, training, and ability to address all Title IX complaints
The Title IX coordinator should report to a senior school official, such as a superintendent or college/university president. This will help those with decision-making authority to be aware of Title IX issues as they arise.
According to OCR, Title IX coordinators should fulfill the following duties:
- Help the school comply with Title IX to ensure non-discriminatory practices within the school.
- Help ensure the school’s compliance with Title IX’s administrative requirements.
- Have knowledge of the school’s policies and procedures on sex discrimination.
- Assist with drafting and revising sex discrimination policies and procedures to ensure they are compliant with Title IX.
- Help the school coordinate the implementation and administration of its procedures for resolving Title IX complaints.
Learn about additional responsibilities of a Title IX coordinator.
Designating multiple Title IX coordinators
A district or school can designate multiple Title IX coordinators and may assign specific employees to coordinate particular Title IX compliance matters. This may be helpful for larger schools or districts. If more than one employee is designated as a Title IX coordinator, it is important to appoint a lead coordinator to make sure policies are consistently enforced and everyone is on the same page with policies and procedures.
Education and training
Training for your school or district’s Title IX coordinator is imperative—the coordinator is required to be knowledgeable of the school’s policies and procedures, as well as applicable federal and state laws on discrimination. According to OCR, training should explain the different facets of Title IX, including regulatory provisions, applicable OCR guidance, and the school’s Title IX policies and grievance procedures. Trainings can be conducted in person, online, or through other formats.
Fund Liability members have access to expert advice, training, and resources on liability risks such as inappropriate relationships, cyberbullying, and discrimination. For more information on liability risks or to request in-person or webinar training on Title IX issues, please contact TASB Legal Liability Risk Consultant Charli Searcy at email@example.com. If you need legal advice or have questions about your policies, contact TASB Legal Services at 800.580.5345 or TASB Policy Service at 800.580.7529.