Since the enactment of Title IX 40 years ago, significant strides have been made in securing equality for girls and women in collegiate sports. However, compliance with the law in elementary, middle, and high schools is marginal at best. There is a similar need to ensure equal access to athletic opportunities for low-income girls through local Parks and Recreation Departments—a right afforded by California law AB 2404.
Fair Play for Girls in Sports is tackling these very issues with generous support from John and Terry Levin and the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of California.
Fair Play for Girls in Sports promotes the health, well-being, education, and future employment opportunities of low-income girls in grades K–12 by:
- Ensuring sports programs provided by public schools in low-income areas afford girls equal athletic opportunities as required by Title IX; and
- Ensuring sports programs sponsored by state Parks and Recreation programs that serve low-income communities provide girls with equal athletic opportunities in accordance with California state law AB 2404.
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Why Sports and Employment?
Participating in sports has a profound and lasting positive effect on the future of girls. Studies show that high school girls involved in team sports are significantly more likely to graduate from high school and are more likely to obtain jobs and be successful in the workplace.
The skills that young women gain from playing sports—such as teamwork, leadership, and discipline—can be crucial to later success in higher education and employment. These correlations are particularly strong for low-income girls and girls of color.
The staff of Fair Play for Girls in Sports works with our partners to identify key schools, districts, and communities with large numbers of low-income and minority girls where equality in athletics is lacking. Fair Play for Girls in Sports employs a multi-pronged approach to this issue, including:
- Education and Outreach: Sharing information about the importance of equal access to athletic opportunities for low-income girls by reaching out to community groups, schools, youth groups, parks, professional organizations, and the media through presentations, articles, and informational materials.
- Fair Play Helpline and Email: Questions about Title IX, AB 2404, and schools' or parks' compliance with the laws may be directed to Fair Play’s toll-free help-line at 877-593-0074, or you can e-mail questions to email@example.com
- Data Collection: Developing a state-wide database on compliance efforts for evaluation and informational purposes.
- Technical Assistance: Offering technical assistance to school districts, parks and recreation departments, peer organizations, and state and federal legislators regarding enforcing and improving existing laws.
- Pre-litigation Solutions and Litigation: Engaging in negotiations to secure and monitor agreements and, in select instances, engaging in litigation when other strategies prove ineffective so as to advance opportunities for girls.