The 2015-16 school year marks the first time that public elementary and secondary schools that offer "competitive athletics" must post data about the gender makeup of their teams and their student participation. Charter schools must also comply.
By June 30 of each school year starting in 2016, each school must make the following information available on its website:
1) The total enrollment of the school, classified by gender;
2) The number of pupils enrolled at the school who participate in competitive athletics, classified by gender; and
3) The number of boys' and girls' teams, classified by sport and by competition level.
If the school does not have a website, the data must be posted on the website of the school district or charter operator.
This requirement is found in Education Code section 221.9, which defines "competitive athletics" to mean sports where the activity has coaches, a governing organization and practices, competes during a defined season, and has competition as its primary goal.
Section 221.9 does not include a specific exception or any other guidance for schools that do not offer any competitive athletics. Those schools may consider posting a notice simply stating that they do not offer competitive athletics.
As we previously reported (see 2015 Client News Brief No. 76
), the legislative history of Education Code section 221.9 indicates that a major purpose of this new law is to make it easier to monitor and enforce Title IX and state requirements for gender equity in public school athletics. Because of the increasing focus on gender equity issues, it is more important than ever for schools and districts to monitor and ensure compliance with Title IX's numerous requirements.
Lozano Smith has dedicated additional focus to this area by forming a Title IX Impact Team that can assist districts with addressing legal needs related to Title IX and gender equity.
If your school site or district needs sample language for these new posting requirements or additional information, please contact one of our nine offices
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