There are many struggles in the world of equity and one often overlooked aspect is women in sports. It is true that the numbers of females participating in sports has risen since 1912 and recently grown in high school sports more than 10 times to 3.2 million active participants. But then so has the population grown. It is true that competition is good for the spirit regardless of whether you win or lose. It is also true that sports and exercise is good for the body and the mind and can help stimulate learning. And it is certainly true that women do not have the same equal access to competitive sports in the K-12 environment that men do.
In 2014, SB1349 is trying to level the playing field by requiring schools to post on their website then number of women/girls playing competitive sports at their school site. I do wonder though if the senate really wanted to make a difference, since they do not require posting until the end of the year – a simple way to say “too late now” and keep onlookers from rabble rousing at the beginning of the season. It may have been better to post two numbers, enrollments at the beginning of the year and players at the end of the year to tell the real story. At any rate, here are the new requirements starting for the 15/16 school year.
Section 221.9 is added to the Education Code, to read:
(a) Commencing with the 2015–16 school year and every year thereafter, each public elementary and secondary school in the state, including each charter school, that offers competitive athletics shall publicly make available at the end of the school year all of the following information:(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.(3) The number of boys’ and girls’ teams, classified by sport and by competition level.(b) The data required pursuant to subdivision (a) shall reflect the total number of players on a team roster on the official first day of competition.(c) The school shall make the information specified in subdivision (a) publicly available as follows:(1) If the school maintains an Internet Web site, by posting the information on the school’s Internet Web site.(2) If the school does not maintain an Internet Web site, by submitting the information to its school district or, for a charter school, to its charter operator. The school district or charter operator shall post the information on its Internet Web site, and the information shall be disaggregated by schoolsite.(d) The materials used by a school to compile the information specified in subdivision (a) shall be retained by the school for at least three years after the information is posted on the Internet pursuant to subdivision (c).(e) As used in this section, “competitive athletics” means sports where the activity has coaches, a governing organization, and practices, and competes during a defined season, and has competition as its primary goal.