United States Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Representative Alma Adams (D-N.C.) introduced the Fair Play for Women Act on Tuesday. Aimed at promoting fair and equitable opportunities and support for women’s programs, the bill seeks to hold institutions and conferences responsible for Title IX violations.
In its current form, the bill expands the reporting requirements for colleges and K-12 schools, including the number of scholarships and amount of student aid, and makes the data available to the public. Additionally, the bill requires the institution to report (and certify) the requested data annually.
According to the bill, if the Department of Education found a college or university out of compliance with Title IX, the Department of Education would be able to fine the institution or require the institution to submit a plan that would remedy the Title IX violation. Moreover, the bill adds a private right of action, allowing an individual to sue an institution for a Title IX violation.
Other benefits of the new bill include annual Title IX training and the development of a database of Title IX coordinators at K-12 schools and colleges/universities.
This past summer was the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Since then, opportunities for girls and women to participate in sports have grown exponentially. Despite the growth, there remains a shortfall in the opportunities available for girls and women compared to boys and men. Specifically, the bill notes that there are over 1 million fewer opportunities at the high school level and nearly 150 thousand at the collegiate level. The Fair Play for Women Act hopes to bridge the gap.
Due to the current session nearing its end, the bill is unlikely to pass. However, the same sponsors will likely reintroduce the bill next year. Recently, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hired former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker as its next President—a move many have considered a push to get Congress involved in regulating the NCAA. Thus, expect the Fair Play for Women Act and other issues to be front and center in the new year.