Governor Signs Jackson Bill To Shine Light on Gender Equity in School Sports

August 22, 2014

SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown has just signed a bill by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to help ensure that schools are complying with Title IX, a law prohibiting gender discrimination in school activities.

Senate Bill 1349 requires all public elementary and secondary schools that offer competitive sports to report on their website the number of boys and girls who play sports and the number of boys and girls teams by sport and competition level, to help determine if schools are complying with Title IX.

“These past few weeks, as we’ve watched Mo’ne Davis pitching in the Little League World Series, we’ve seen what incredible contributions a young woman can make to sports. In the 40 years since Title IX became law, girls’ sports opportunities have grown exponentially. Yet, we know that girls still have far fewer opportunities to play sports than boys. For the schools that are complying with Title IX, this bill will provide an opportunity to proudly showcase the equal opportunities being provided to both genders,” said Jackson. “For those schools that don’t comply, we hope this reporting requirement will “sunshine” that inequity, give parents and schools important information, and become a wake-up call to the school and its community that change is needed.”

In order to comply with Title IX, schools must show they provide female and male students with equal sports opportunities and a history of expanding programs for the underrepresented gender.

Jackson is a strong supporter of gender equity in sports opportunities that she traces back to her elementary school years. At the age of 7, she wanted to join Little League but was denied entrance because she was a girl. She circulated a petition which she sent to Little League, but never heard back from them.

The bill takes effect in the 2015-16 school year.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.