SDE: Single Sex Classes and Schools

Title IX and Single Sex Education

By Sue Klein, Ed. D., Education Equity Director, Feminist Majority Foundation [PDF 20.75KB]

Positions on Single-Sex Education

National Women's Law Center
American Association of University Women

Dear Colleague Letter Single Sex Classes Guidance

On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Single-Sex Elementary and Secondary Classes and Extracurricular Activities.” The ED’s Title IX’s regulations apply to every public school, including traditional, charter and magnet schools. The guidance document states that the general rule under Title IX is that schools may offer single-sex classes as long as, in doing so, the school does not “exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently any person on the basis of sex.” This Q & A focuses on the criteria for offering single-sex classes under ED’s Title IX regulations.

Department of Education publishes final Title IX regulations encouraging single-sex schools and classes

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published final regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to expand flexibility to offer single-sex schools, classes, and extracurricular activities in nonvocational elementary and secondary schools. Title IX prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded education programs. Information on the regulations as initially proposed in 2004 and NSBA’s comments on them are provided below. The new regulations were proposed to allow single-sex schools and single-sex classes, as long as both sexes are treated with substantial equality. This would not necessarily require that single-sex schools and programs always be offered to both genders. For example, OCR no longer interprets Title IX to require that if a district offers a single-sex school to students of one sex it must offer another single-sex school to the other. A single-sex program would, however, have to be substantially related to an "important governmental or educational objective," which the regulations define as either "to provide a diversity of educational options to parents and students" or "to meet the particular identified educational needs of students."


If you require further information, please contact:

Dr. Adrian R. Wood
State Title IX Coordinator
CT State Department of Education
Turnaround Office
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Telephone: (860) 713-6795

Content Last Modified on 1/22/2016 1:21:49 PM