Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parents invoke Title IX during budget crises

College athletic administrators have long known that budget crises and consequent budget cuts have to be made equitably. And if it wasn't obvious before this current economic crisis, NCAA president Myles Brand made it clear a couple of months ago.
Now it seems that high school administrators are learning the same thing. In Frederick County Maryland where administrators are considering closing three of the public school's swimming pools, parents, swimmers, and coaches are putting up a little bit of a fight.
Most of the strategies for saving the pools involve cost-saving measures such as hold meets for 3 or 4 teams at a time rather than dual meets, getting volunteer lifeguards, and cutting down on practices.
But one parent asked to see the per student cost of swimmers versus football players (in the context of eliminating a few sports or making department-wide cuts). And other parents brought up Title IX. In Frederick County, swimming is a predominately female sport.
A meeting the other night was likely only the first in a series of discussions about how to save money. But it's clear that proponents of swimming know the issues.