Fourth Circuit Finds 501(c)(3) Status Does Not Subject Private Schools to Title IX

Title IX, like Title VI and Section 504, is applicable to schools that accept federal financial assistance. Public schools receive federal funds and are thus subject to these laws. But private, tax-exempt schools have long operated with the understanding that they are not subject to these laws. In 2022, however, a district court in Maryland and one in California rocked the private school community by determining that a private school’s tax-exempt status constituted the receipt of federal financial assistance requiring compliance with Title IX. The Fourth Circuit has now reversed the Maryland decision, Buettner-Hartsoe v. Baltimore Lutheran High School Associationd/b/a Concordia Preparatory School, finding that a tax exemption is not the same as the monetary grant contemplated by Title IX.