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The National Center for Lesbian Rights Joins in Supporting the High School Athletics Accountability Act

(San Francisco, CA, June 4, 2007) — Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) joins the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport and more than 30 national organizations in their call for support for High School Athletics Accountability Act. Currently before Congress (HR 901) and the Senate (S 518), the bill will significantly expand the ability of schools, students, parents and the public at large to improve gender equity on our nation's playing fields and to realize the promise of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Title IX's impact on women's athletic participation is one of the country's greatest success stories. In the past three decades, Title IX has led to a 450% increase in the rate of female participation in college sports and a more than 900% increase in participation at the high school level.

Despite the significant gains girls and women have made since the enactment of Title IX, girls are still facing pervasive inequalities. In fact, while girls comprise 49% of the high school population, they receive only 41% of all athletic participation opportunities—1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than male high school athletes. Qualitative analysis suggests that high school girls still lag behind not only in participation opportunities, but in allocation of operating and recruitment budgets as well. But unlike their collegiate counterparts, high schools are not required to disclose any data on equity in sports—making it difficult for schools, students and parents to identify sources of inequality and ensure fairness in their schools' athletics programs.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2007, in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the High School Sports Information Collection Act. At the same time, a companion bill, the High School Athletics Accountability Act, was introduced in the House by Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-28th NY) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-2nd WV). These important bills require high schools to report basic information on the number of female and male students in their athletic programs and the expenditures made for their sports teams. This information will help schools to evaluate whether and where in their athletics programs inequities are occurring, and will provide students and parents the information necessary to assist their schools in remedying disparities that may be limiting equal access to athletics opportunities.

Much of this information is already kept by schools, including their participation rates, which they report annually to the National Federal of State High School Associations. This new requirement will make this important information transparent to the public.

Supporting organizations include:

  • American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • American Volleyball Coaches Association
  • Association for Gender Equity Leadership in Education (AGELE)
  • Business and Professional Women/USA
  • California Women's Law Center
  • Center for Research on Physical Activity, Sport & Health, D'Youville College
  • Dads & Daughters
  • Digital Sistas, Inc.
  • Emerging Women Projects
  • Equal Rights Advocates
  • Feminist Majority
  • Girls Inc.
  • Legal Momentum
  • Massachusetts CEDAW Project
  • Myra Sadker Foundation
  • National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS)
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Congress of Black Women, Inc.
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Council of Women's Organizations
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • National Women's Conference
  • National Women's History Project
  • National Women's Law Center
  • Northwest Women's Law Center
  • OWL
  • U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce
  • United States Student Association
  • Women's Basketball Coaches Association
  • Women's Law Project
  • Women's Research & Education Institute
  • Women's Sports Foundation
  • Women Work! The National Network for Women's Employment

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

media contacts:


Erik Olvera
Director of Communications
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x324

Bethany Woolman
Communications Associate
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x305

Helen Carroll
Sports Project Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights
415.392.6257 x306
Mobile: 415.595.2123


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