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Public Statements

The High School Data Transparency Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to introduce the High School Data Transparency Act. Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972, the number of women competing in college sports has soared by more than 600 percent while the number of high school girls competing in sports increased by over 1,000 percent. Yet, despite our incredible progress over the years, we still have more work to do.

Young women in high school currently receive 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play sports than young men, and this gap is increasing. The problem stems from a lack of transparency and accountability in our high schools. Federal law requires colleges and universities to report basic information about the funding of athletic programs for men and women and the participation of men and women throughout these sports. Due in part to this public information, American women have unrivaled opportunity at the collegiate level.

Unfortunately, the basic actions required of our universities are not required of our high schools. As a result, we are seeing fewer and fewer high schools realize full equality for male and female athletes, and more young women being denied the opportunity to realize their full potential both on and off the field.

I've met with many Olympic gold medalists who have told me that Title IX--and the accompanying athletic scholarships it made possible--was the reason they were able to attend college and pursue their dreams. These Olympians have emphasized that the benefits of sports participation are not limited to their achievements on the field. Indeed, statistics have shown that young women thrive when they participate in sports and are less likely to get pregnant, drop out of school, do drugs, smoke, or develop mental illness. Increasing young students' physical activity can also help combat childhood obesity, which is at an all-time high.

To address the lack of reporting at the high school level, the High School Data Transparency Act would require that high schools report basic data on the number of female and male students in their athletic programs and the expenditures made for their sports teams. This would be an easy change for our high schools to make. Several states, including Kentucky, Georgia, and New Mexico, have already implemented similar reporting requirements at the state level, and high school athletics directors from those states tell us that it usually takes just 2-6 hours of one person's time to complete each year.

The extraordinary accomplishments we've achieved together over the past four decades of Title IX are a cause for celebration, but we must look forward and continue our steady march of progress.

I urge my colleagues to build on our advancement and help ensure that young women in high school have equal opportunities to play sports by supporting the High School Data Transparency Act.

Thank you.


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