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CPS Must Add Girls Sports After Title IX Investigation

Following a federal investigation that found “significant” gender-based participation gaps in Chicago Public Schools district sports programs, CPS will increase the amount of organized sports opportunities for girls at no less than 12 high schools as part of a settlement with the federal government.

Additionally, CPS must survey students by the 2018-19 school year on their interest in athletics in order to add new sports teams until all high schools in the district comply with Title IX. Despite, ongoing budget problems, CPS must find a way to comply.

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The federal investigation occurred after a complaint was filed in 2010 by the National Women’s Law Center, which filed complaints against multiple school systems where the percentage of girls participating on organized sports teams was significantly smaller than the percentage of girls in the student body.

In all, the U.S. Department of Education found girls were underrepresented in 84 of CPS’ athletic programs during the 2013-24 school year. Coed cheer and dance teams were not considered “athletic programs” in the investigation despite a request by CPS that they be counted.

CPS asked for a settlement before the completion of the federal investigation and signed the agreement to increase girls’ sports teams with the government at the beginning of July.

The federal Education Department estimates that the regulations will give approximately 6,200 girls a better opportunity to play high school sports.

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According to CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey, the district hired a Title IX sports compliance coordinator two years ago and “continues to follow a plan to come into compliance with this agreement.”

In a statement, McCaffrey said, “Chicago Public Schools recognizes the importance that sports programs play in the lives of all student athletes and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

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