ANNCR: TITLE NINE – Today on Congressional Moment
MAN: (gymnasium sfx) THE NEW GIRLS' BASKETBALL TEAM IS TAKING HALF OUR FUNDING AWAY; THE BOYS' TEAM IS, LIKE, TOTALLY FALLING APART. WOMAN: (outdoor practice sfx) WHEN MY DAUGHTER STARTED PLAYING ON THE GIRLS' SOCCER TEAM, HER CONFIDENCE WENT WAY UP. TURNS OUT SHE'S A NATURAL! SHE'S NEVER FELT BETTER ABOUT HERSELF.
ANNCR: In 1972, Congress passed a set of Federal Education Amendments to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. A section of this law called "Title Nine," requires high schools and colleges that receive federal funding to end gender discrimination in any educational activity — including athletics.
The law has led to an explosion of women's sports and has given young women opportunities for athletic scholarships, higher education and professional careers.
Yet, soon after the Title Nine passed, opponents, including the NCAA and many high school administrators, warned that male sports teams would suffer if girls' sports had to be funded equally.
Title Nine is seen by many as a "quota system," undermining the integrity of athletic programs, causing many men's teams to be reduced or eliminated. At the same time, the number of girls participating in high school athletics has grown from 300,000 in 1971 to over 2.6 million today. Passing the law was a major step forward for women.
Finding the means by which to expand female athletic programs without jeopardizing male athletic programs remains a key challenge for Congress.
STANDARD CLOSING: This is Lee Hamilton. Congressional decisions impact all our lives. To find out more about how Congress works, or to get involved in your government, visit the Center On Congress Web site at congress.indiana.edu.