Title IX compliance would be element of school performance

Title IX compliance would be element of school performance

Clarification: While AB 2512 would require inclusion of data in the API of the number of students, by gender, participating in school athletic programs, that information is not mandated for inclusion in Local Control Accountability Plans, according to Bonilla's office.

(Calif.) In a significant departure from how school performance has been judged in the past, legislation introduced late last week would add to the matrix an assessment of how well a school ensures that boys and girls have equal access to all programs and services.

AB 2512 would require that data from schools be included in the Academic Performance Index showing their compliance with Title IX, the 1972 federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The bill encourages -- but doe not mandate -- the inclusion of the same data in a school's Local Control Accountability Plan.

“AB 2512 helps to achieve one of the state’s priorities under the new Local Control Funding Formula – that of creating a positive school climate for all students,” said Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, the bill’s author.

Including Title IX compliance in the API and the list of factors that may be considered in local accountability plans, Bonilla said, “redefines how student success and school climate are measured.”

The bill comes forward as California schools are transitioning to a new funding system and new assessments aligned to new educational standards known as Common Core State Standards.

The restructured finance system, which grants local school boards greater authority over spending decisions, requires local educational agencies to submit detailed plans showing how they are meeting a set of eight state academic priorities – among them, the creation and maintenance of a positive school environment or climate.

The API, which scores a school’s academic success based on test scores, has been suspended for two years to allow for the transition as well as a makeover of the index itself to include more than just test scores. Legislation adopted last year requires the inclusion of graduation rates, and an advisory committee has been working for the better part of two years to recommend other factors that prove whether or not a school is preparing all students for success in college and/or careers.

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in all educational institutions that receive federal funding.

The law applies to all aspects of education and all types of sex discrimination, including athletics, sexual harassment and assault, harassment based on gender identity, science and math education, and facilities and course offerings, according to Bonilla’s office.

The Assemblywoman’s bill amends California Education Code Section 60640 to comply with federal gender equity requirements under Title IX “including, but not limited to, the total number of pupils, by gender, participating in existing after school athletic programs.”

According to a fact sheet from Bonilla’s office on AB 2512, Title IX has increased female participation in sports but women still remain underrepresented in athletic programs and receive fewer resources.

In addition to data on sports participation and program funding, schools could also provide information on how they provide equal access to various course offerings – particularly science, math, engineering and technology, or STEM – as well as how they prevent or respond to instances of sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender in any program or activity.   

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