News Releases

WOMEN’S SPORTS: Murray Applauds Department of Education Decision to Repeal Policy Harmful to Women Athletes

Apr 22 2010

Murray continues push to make sure high schools are held to the same standards of fairness for female athletes that colleges are

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to repeal a Bush-era Title IX policy that allowed schools to potentially understate the interest in women’s athletics and provide fewer resources to female athletes than they do to male athletes. With the repeal of this policy, schools and colleges must now provide stronger evidence that they offer equal opportunities for athletic participation under the federal Title IX gender equity law.

“Over the last thirty years Title IX has opened the doors to school gyms and playing fields for millions of girls across the country, giving them an opportunity to compete in sports and develop the self-confidence and team spirit that will benefit them their whole lives,” Senator Murray said. “I am so glad that the Obama administration repealed a policy that took us a step back from the tremendous gains we have made for female athletes. I am going to continue fighting to make sure women at all levels are getting the same chance to play sports as their male peers.”

Senator Murray recently introduced the High School Sports Information Collection Act with Senator Snowe (R-Maine), which would strengthen Title IX by requiring high schools to release data regarding their male and female athletic programs, including athletic participation rates, expenditures on teams, and practice and game schedules.

The Bush-era Title IX policy enacted in 2005 allowed schools to use only a survey to prove a lack of interest in starting a new women's sport. The Bush provision also encouraged schools to consider a non-response to the questionnaire as disinterest in a new women’s sport.  By repealing this policy, schools and colleges must now provide stronger evidence that they offer equal opportunities for athletic participation under the federal Title IX gender equity law.