New York City must give girls more opportunities to participate in high school sports, according to federal officials.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights found that the city needs to add more than 3,850 spots on sports teams for girls to be equally represented in high school athletics and meet Title IX provisions that prohibit discrimination based on sex. During the 2012-13 school year, girls represented 48 percent of the city’s high school enrollment but only 44 percent of high school athletes, according to the Office of Civil Rights.
The city has indicated that it is prepared to put resources toward expanding girls sports teams. Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during his 2016 budget proposal that the city would add 12 girls varsity teams (each with an accompanying junior varsity team) per year through 2019, spending $906,000 to create 96 teams over four years.
The city denies it has violated Title IX regulations, but came to an agreement in January to resolve the complaint, which was originally filed against the city by the National Women’s Law Center in 2010. As part of the agreement, the city will survey female students in high school and eighth grade by the end of June, and work to create new sports teams in schools where there is unmet interest and enough girls to sustain a new team.
“The Department of Education has made enormous progress in our efforts to ensure that female students are fully participating in athletics and we will be expanding those efforts even further,” spokesman Jason Fink said in a statement.