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Title IX Amendment in Senate ESEA Bill Seeks to Highlight Inequalities in Sports

Guest post by Lauren Camera. Cross-posted from the Politics K-12 blog.

Just days after the U.S. Women's Soccer team captured the gold medal in the World Cup and captivated the largest TV audience ever to tune in to a soccer match in this country, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., offered an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would shine a light on the inequalities in sports between men and women.

"Today, more young women than ever are playing sports," said Murray, who is a co-author of the bipartisan federal K-12 overhaul, on Wednesday. "But inequality still exists, and girls don't have the same opportunities to play sports as boys."

The amendment would require schools to report on both access to girls' organized sports and the funding for girls' sports. For the first time, schools would need to show the public what they spend on travel expenses, equipment, and uniforms for both boy's and girl's sports teams. They would also need to report on the number of coaches, trainers, and medical personnel, as well as the average annual salaries for men's and women's coaches.

"This information will help shine a light on the persistent inequalities in sports between men and women," her prepared remarks state.

Under Title IX, which Congress passed back in 1972, schools are required to provide equal opportunities to girls and boys to play organized sports, as well as provide equal benefits and services, like coaches, courts, and playing fields.

But according to the National Federation of High School Associations, young women have 1.3 million fewer chances to play sports in high school, compared to boys.

"So many girls across the country have spent this week dreaming of, one day, being one of those women champions they saw on television last weekend," Murray stated. "Let's make sure they know Congress has their back."

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