National NOW Times >> Spring 2003 >> Article
Bush Administration Trying to Bench Female Athletes
by Nicole Casta, NOW Foundation Government Relations Associate
Last summer, the Bush Administration set up the misnamed Commission on Opportunities in Athletics to "analyze" Title IX, the widely supported federal law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded schools and colleges, and its implementation with regard to athletic programs. The commission was stacked with opponents of Title IXits real purpose apparently to provide cover for the dismantling of Title IX and the opportunities that it ensures for women and girls.
Throughout the fall and winter, the Commission staged regional town hall meetings at which Title IX critics were given plenty of time to speak while supporters were regularly refused that opportunity.
Now the Commission has recommended a series of complicated but deadly changes to the Title IX standardschanges that will devastate girls' and women's sports programs. Although the Commission wants the public to believe that these changes are "moderate," they will drastically limit the opportunities available to girls and women in athletics. Women's sports experts say that under some of the proposals, girls would lose several hundred thousand high school athletic opportunities and tens of millions of dollars each year in college athletic scholarships.
The Commission's radical recommendations include:
To keep the ball moving in the right direction, get involved with your local schools. Find out if your school has appointed the required Title IX coordinator, and what her or his efforts have been to ensure compliance. Make sure that your school keeps moving towards equality and does not backpedal. Urge your state leaders to adopt provisions protecting athletic equity.
And lastly, when the Bush Administration uses the Commission's recommendations to eviscerate Title IX, join NOW in raising the alarmdon't let him bench our daughters, sisters and friends!
For further information, check out NOW's website where you'll find up to date Title IX information and a questionnaire you can use to make sure your local high school is in compliance. Also see the websites of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, the Women's Sports Foundation, and the National Women's Law Center.
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