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Bill Would Mandate Title IX Surveys in All New Mexico Schools

Alleged gender inequity in four New Mexico school districts has spurred state lawmakers to consider surveying all districts to uncover any Title IX issues.

A spate of federal investigations into alleged gender inequity within the sports programs of four New Mexico school districts has spurred state lawmakers to consider surveying all districts to uncover any Title IX issues. The Sports Equity Act (HB 432), which passed the House earlier this year, would require all federally funded K-12 schools to fill out a survey about sports facilities, gender participation and instruction. The state Public Education Department would compile the information and provide it to schools to help them evaluate whether they're complying with the 1972 law. The cost of the surveys has been estimated by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration at $84,500 a year, but the bill's sponsor, Rep. Danice Picraux (D-Albuquerque), told reporters that having the information on hand would save the hassle and costs associated with drawn-out investigations. Picraux was no doubt thinking of the 2007 investigation stemming from a complaint lodged against Manzano High School by a softball player who alleged the school kept up the boys' baseball field better than the girls' softball field, and that her coach retaliated against her after she complained about inequality. According to an Associated Press report, that investigation produced more than 3,000 pages of documents, including building and facility blueprints, transcribed interviews with every coach and assistant coach at the school, and surveys of sports opportunities and protocol.

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