The Technical Assistance Center originally started as the Sex Desegregation Assistance Center of the Southwest. The purpose of the Sex Desegregation Assistance Center was to assist school districts in complying with the regulations of Title IX in the letter and spirit of the law. The Center transformed into the Technical Assistance Center when it took on the responsibilities of assisting schools in complying with Title VI, along with continuing assistance on Title IX.
Both versions of the Center were funded by grants through the Federal Department of Education.
Title VI and Title IX were part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Title VI was to prevent discrimination against people on the grounds race, color, or national origin at programs or activities that were receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The section of Title IX that was important to the Center was the addition in 1972 which outlawed discrimination based on sex by educational programs or activities that were receiving federal aid.