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Chicago schools must increase sports opportunities for girls

July 10, 2015 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
Chicago Public Schools will be forced to increase athletic opportunities for girls at a minimum of 12 high schools under an agreement with federal investigators.

Chicago Public Schools is required to increase girls sports participation at a minimum of 12 high schools. | Photo: Sarah Jones, Wikimedia Commons
Chicago Public Schools is required to increase girls sports participation at a minimum of 12 high schools. | Photo: Sarah Jones, Wikimedia Commons

The Office for Civil Rights found “significant disparities” between the enrollment of girls and their participation in sports at a number of the district’s high schools. The OCR estimated that 6,200 additional opportunities would be available if enrollment and participation were proportionate.

“With this resolution agreement, the district has committed to provide, on a school-by-school basis, an equal opportunity for high school girls to participate in interscholastic athletics at all 98 high schools,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “I am delighted that the new accountability measures put in place by the district, including a new Title IX Sports Compliance Coordinator, new sports participation database, and new website that provides a description of sports offerings at each high school and a process for students to request additional sports opportunities, will help ensure equal athletic opportunity for another 6,200 Chicago girls and equal opportunity in school for all Chicago students.”

Opportunities for girls at the 12 high schools are expected to increase by this fall. The district may also be forced to add new sports to help schools fall in line with Title IX requirements.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Education, the agreement also includes:

  • Measures to ensure that the athletics directors of each high school provide current and complete information about their programs, including a requirement that the directors certify the accuracy of the data provided and possible discipline for not providing accurate and timely information
  • Annual Title IX training for all high school athletics directors

CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey told the Chicago Tribune that the district hired a Title IX sports compliance coordinator two years ago and is following a plan for compliance. Charter schools were not included in the investigation.

Click here to read the complete news release from the U.S. Department of Education.


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