Federal Coordination And Compliance Section

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT: Strengthening Title IX Enforcement and Addressing Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Race, Color, and National Origin in Federally Conducted Education Programs and Activities

As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, we should pause to recognize the significant progress our Nation has made in increasing educational possibilities for women and girls and recommit ourselves to the goals of this important legislation. Title IX has broken down barriers and expanded opportunities -- opening classroom doors, playing fields, and even the frontiers of space to women and girls across this country.

My Administration is working hard to expand further opportunities for women and girls. We have stepped up enforcement of civil rights statutes in areas such as access to advanced math and science programs. We have issued policy guidance on racial and sexual harassment and on ensuring equal opportunities in intercollegiate athletics. We have aggressively litigated cases presenting significant issues of discrimination, including cases challenging the exclusion of women from the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel. My Administration has also sponsored an education campaign to help young girls build skills, confidence, and good health. Finally, my Administration has reaped the benefits of an ever-increasing pool of superbly qualified women, making it possible for me to appoint record numbers of women to my Cabinet, judicial posts, and to high levels of decision-making throughout the Federal Government.

Yet more needs to be done. Our Nation can reach its full potential only when all of our citizens have the opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute to our society. Today, I am announcing two important next steps in our fight to reach true equality in education.

First, I am directing executive departments and agencies to develop vigorous, new Title IX enforcement plans. We must ensure that all Federal agencies that provide financial assis-tance to education programs or activities take all necessary steps to ensure that programs and institutions receiving Federal money do not discriminate on the basis of sex.

I therefore direct all heads of executive departments and agencies that provide financial assistance to education programs or activities, following consultation with the Attorney General, to report to me within 90 days on measures to ensure effective enforcement of Title IX. This should include a description of department or agency priorities for enforcement, methods to make recipients of Federal financial assistance aware of their obligation not to discriminate, and grievance procedures to handle Title IX complaints. In accordance with Executive Order 12250, the Attorney General should coordinate implementation of these measures.

Second, I am asking executive departments and agencies to take appropriate action against discrimination in education programs or activities conducted by the Federal Government. Currently, Title IX generally prohibits discrimination based on sex -- and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 generally prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin -- in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. However, these laws do not apply to comparable education programs or activities that are conducted by the Federal Government. I believe it is essential that the Federal Government hold itself to the same principles of nondiscrimination in educational opportunities that we now apply to education programs and activities of State and local governments and private institutions receiving Federal financial assistance.

Applying these principles to appropriate Federally conducted education programs and activities will complement existing laws and regulations that prohibit other forms of discrimination in Federally conducted education programs -- including discrimination against people with disabilities (prohibited by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin against Federal employees (prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

I therefore direct all heads of executive departments and agencies to report to the Attorney General within 60 days:

(1) identifying and describing education programs or activities conducted by the executive department or agency (including the approximate budget and size of the program). An education program or activity includes any civilian academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education activity conducted by the Federal Government. Examples of Federally conducted education programs would include elementary and secondary schools operated by the Department of Defense for dependent children of eligible personnel; Federally conducted educational research; and educational fellowships awarded directly by Federal agencies to students; and

(2) describing any substantive or procedural issues that might arise under these education programs or activities related to prohibiting discrimination based on sex, race, color, and national origin in the program or activity, in order to aid in determining where application of remedial efforts would be appropriate.

On the basis of these reports, I intend to issue an Executive order implementing appropriate restrictions against sex, race, color, and national origin discrimination in Federally conducted education programs. I direct the Attorney General to report to me within 60 days after receiving these reports with the results of her review and a proposal for an appropriate and effective Executive order.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON


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This page was last updated on August 07, 2001.

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Updated August 6, 2015