Wednesday, September 18, 2013

District of Columbia considering mandatory reporting

Research has shown that girls in urban communities have far fewer athletic opportunities that their suburban counterparts as well as their male peers. The Women's Sports Foundation has focused some of its programs on this issue in an attempt to close the gap. These programs are aimed largely at organizations and activities outside of the schools (after school programs, recreational sports). But now, recognizing the Title IX implications (the two complaints--one from the National Women's Law Center--might have helped raise some awareness!) of the disparity as they manifest in the schools, the DC Council is proposing a bill that would require the reporting of equity data by all elementary, charter, middle and high schools in the district. And it does not just call for reporting participation numbers. Schools would also have to report how much they spend on sports, the quality of equipment, and availability of facilities for boys' and girls' sports respectively.
A similar piece of legislation was proposed several years ago (prior to the two complaints), but did not pass. Currently, 5 out of the 13 council members are supporting the bill.