An amendment, authored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray to ensure girls have equal opportunities to participate in sports in elementary and secondary schools, was adopted as part of a major U.S. Senate education overhaul today.
The amendment passed in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s markup of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
“Forty years ago, Congress passed Title IX and paved the way for women to get involved in athletics at the college level, but we still don’t do enough to ensure that girls of all ages have equal opportunities to get involved in sports,” said Murray. “We know that girls who play sports live healthier lives and succeed in the classroom and their careers, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t have the chance to get involved with sports at an early age.”
Currently, colleges and universities are required to report information on opportunities for women to participate in athletic programs, but there are no federal requirements for elementary and secondary schools to do the same.
This amendment is designed to shine a light on the gap between access to, funding for, and quality of sports programs for girls and boys from Kindergarten through high school by compelling elementary and secondary schools to make information regarding their sports programs public, including participation and funding levels.
It is supported by organizations across the country, including: American Association of University Women, American Volleyball Coaches Association, Annie Appleseed Project
Center for Research on Physical Activity, Sport and Health, D’Youville College, Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues, Equal Rights Advocates, Feminist Majority, Girls Inc.
Healthy Teen Network, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Council of Women’s Organizations, National Organization for Women Foundation, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, Southwest Women’s Law Center, The DadMan, The Myra Sadker Foundation, USA Cheer, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Law Project and the Women’s Sports Foundation.