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Title IX quotas in high schools challenged in lawsuit

July 21, 2011 | 10:56 am

The Pacific Legal Foundation, acting on behalf of the Washington, D.C.-based American Sports Council, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Education’s policy guidelines on Title IX, alleging that activists are using the guidelines to promote sex-based quotas in high school athletic programs.

Title IX, passed in 1972, prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and is credited with helping ignite the growth of females in sports competition.

A “three-part test” for collegiate athletics was devised in 1979 to determine if schools were in compliance, including whether male and female athletic participation is proportionate to male and female school enrollment.

The American Sports Council, formerly the College Sports Council, is insisting that that quota system “doesn’t apply to high schools,” according to Eric Pearson, the organization’s chairman.

Pierson said women organizations have been filing complaints with the Department of Education against school districts seeking to enforce proportionality in high school sports.

Pierson said his organization supports Title IX enforcement requiring schools to provide equal access for facilities, scheduling and funding but objects to a “gender quota system" for high school sports.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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