Monday, September 10, 2012

AAUW holds event for Title IX

Title IX celebrated its "official" signing date birthday over the summer, but the education initiatives about the legislation are far from over.

To set the tone for the new academic year, the State College chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) organized a short, yet informative lecture on Title IX on Monday evening at the Schlow Centre Region Library.

Peg Pennepacker, the athletic director in the State College Area School District, drew upon three decades of her experience in public education to talk about the challenges of Title IX in K-12, and primarily high school education.

Pennapacker highlighted a number of issues she runs into as a Title IX consultant to schools. One is that students, parents and school administrators are often under the impression that Title IX has no implications outside of athletics. "Title IX is not a sports law; it is an education law," Pennepacker said.

She also emphasized that Title IX does not require the cut of men's and boys' sports, which is another common myth about the legislation.

In light of the recent news that a Texas high school is planning to spend $60 million dollars on a football stadium (see earlier blog post), Pennepacker also talked about the rules that apply to high schools in regards to funds from boosters. She clarified that as long as the institution receives federal funding, it is the schools responsibility to ensure there is no disparity in participation opportunities under Title IX.

The presentation was concluded with a legislative update in the State of Pennsylvania: a new section is to be added to the Pennsylvania Public School Code, which would require schools to make the data of their interscholastic athletics opportunities publicly available. You can read the bill and the article here.

A particularly significant of this Article is that, additionally to reporting participation per gender and ethnicity/race, schools will also have to disclose the total value of non-school support (boosters, alumni, etc.) and indicate how these funds are distributed per team. The Article comes into effect in 2013, while the non-school support fund reports will begin in 2015.

For resources about Title IX compliance, see the AAUW guide or our earlier Title IX blog posts. 

-- Dunja Antunovic


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