Vanderbilt Law Review


Susan L. Wright

First Page



Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX)' to address the widespread existence of sex discrimination in educational institutions.' Twenty years later, in Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, a unanimous Supreme Court put teeth into the statute by finding that Title IX relief includes compensatory damages. he Supreme Court's decision resolved a split of authority between the Third Circuit and the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits. The Court agreed with the Third Circuit, which had recently become the first court of appeals to find a right to compensatory relief under Title IX.

Congress had two main objectives in enacting Title IX: (1) to re- strict the disbursement of federal funds to institutions maintaining sexually discriminatory practices and (2) to protect individuals against such practices.' Congress explicitly granted the power to enforce Title IX to federal agencies and departments that have the capacity to extend federal financial assistance to education programs or activities. Pursuant to this delegation, the Department of Education is primarily responsible for enforcing the statute." The Department also has the authority to terminate federal funding to institutions in violation of the statute. Before such a termination, however, Title IX requires that the Department of Education give an institution notice of its violation and an opportunity for voluntary compliance.'