For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D – Ward 5) introduced significant legislation today to increase the quality and quantity of athletic opportunities for girls in the District’s public schools.
The “Title IX Athletic Equity Act of 2013” takes the first important steps toward bringing the District into compliance with Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in education programs receiving federal funding, including athletics. The bill requires public schools to increase transparency by annually submitting data to the Mayor regarding athletic participation, staffing, funding, expenditures, scheduling, competition success, academic supports, and facilities’ conditions. The bill also requires the Mayor to develop a strategic plan every five years to achieve athletic equity.
“Recent attention to this issue by advocacy groups and my constituents has brought to light serious inequalities in programming, planning, and compliance by the District’s public schools,” said McDuffie. “We have the lowest total athletic participation by girls in the country and significant gaps in girls’ participation in almost every school – as high as 26 percent at some schools. As the parent of two young girls, I cannot stand by while thousands are denied the opportunity to participate in quality sports.”
To monitor each school’s progress toward expanding athletics for girls, the bill also creates a District-wide and school-based Title IX Athletic Coordinators charged with overseeing compliance, programming, and grievances. Additionally, to strengthen the pipeline between middle and high schools and colleges, the Mayor would be required to designate an NCAA Eligibility and Athletic Scholarship Coordinator. “It’s vital that girls play sports that lead to opportunities after graduation, and that their families be informed early on,” said McDuffie.
The bill was unanimously co-introduced by the Council and was referred to the Committee on Education.