WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) today introduced the “High School Sports Information Collection Act,” a bill that will require that high schools, like their college counterparts, disclose data on equity in sports, making it possible for student athletes and their parents to ensure fairness in their school’s athletic programs.
“Statistics show that girls who play sports benefit both on and off the field, with strong physical health and a sense of dedication and team spirit” Senator Snowe said. “Continuing the tradition set by Title IX, this bill will allow us to assess current opportunities for sports participation, ensure that girls have an equal opportunity to excel in sports as males, and correct any deficiencies. With this new information, we can ensure that young women all over the country have the chance not only to improve their athletic ability, but also to develop the qualities of teamwork, discipline, and self-confidence that lead to a successful life off the playing field.”
“In the last 30 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. “But while we’ve made tremendous progress in ensuring gender equity, students and parents can’t see whether the law is being followed because they don’t have key information about scholarships, opportunities, or athletics budgets. This bill would help us take those last couple steps and ensure that girls are getting the same chance to play sports as their male peers.”
The “High School Sports Information Collection Act” directs the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics to collect information regarding participation in athletics broken down by gender; teams; race and ethnicity; and overall expenditures, including items like travel expenses, equipment and uniforms. These data are already reported, in most cases, to the state Departments of Education and should not pose any additional burden on the high schools. Further, to ensure public access to this vital information, this legislation would require high schools to post the data on the Department of Education’s website and make this information available to students and the public upon request.