In 1998, the Connecticut Women’s Educational and Legal Fund prepared a
report evaluating Lewis Mills’ compliance with Title IX. In the
findings of that report it was stated that Lewis Mills, as of 1998, had
an equitable athletic program. Using data from the 2003-04 school year,
the major areas of that report have been re-examined.
There are two main areas that public high schools must be
concerned with in determining compliance with Title IX: (1) Effective
Accommodation of Students’ Interests and Abilities and (2) Equivalence in Athletic Benefits and Opportunities.
(1) Effective Accommodation of Students’ Interests and Abilities
There are three tests that are used to determine if this criterion is met. A school only needs to meet any one of the three:
A. Substantial Proportionality – This test compares the ratio
of male and female participants in the athletic program with the ratio
of students in the school. There is no set standard for what is
considered acceptable, but courts have found that differences greater
than 10% would constitute failure to meet these criteria. Lewis Mills
clearly meets the substantial proportionality requirement, with 288 girl
participants and 237 boys in 2003-2004 (55% female athletes, 45 %
male). This favorably compares to the school enrollment ratio of 357
girls and 334 boys (52% female and 48% male). Even if 45 boys football
players were to be added in, the athlete percentages would still be
about 50% male and female.
B. Continuing Program Expansion – This criterion examines if a
school has shown a history and continued pattern of program expansion
for girls. Lewis Mills currently has nine boys sports, 9 girls sports,
and 3 programs that would be considered co-ed. The last 2 sports to be
added were crew (co-ed) and boys lacrosse.
C. Effective Accommodation of Interests – If schools do not
meet either of the above two criteria, they could show compliance by
demonstrating that the interest and abilities of girls are “fully and
effectively accommodated” and that there is no need for further
expansion of existing programs.
(2) Equivalence in Athletic Benefits and Opportunities
This area of compliance requires that schools satisfy a list of
specific requirements concerning administration and management of
sports. These requirements include equipment and supplies, scheduling of
games and practice times, compensation of coaches, locker rooms and
facilities, and medical and training facilities.
The areas of scheduling, locker rooms, and athletic training
are clearly equitable at Lewis Mills. The current expenditures on
equipment, supplies, and coach’s salaries can be seen on the attached
spreadsheet “Expense Summary by Gender”. Currently, Lewis Mills has a
nearly equal yearly expenditure on girls and boys programs, with boys
programs slightly ahead. The addition of football, at an approximate
yearly expense of $35,000 (once fields, facilities, and start-up
equipment have been established), would push the ratio of yearly
expenditures to about 57% boys, 43% girls.
Another way to look at the equity of expenditures is to compute
the average expense per athlete. Currently, Lewis Mills spends about
$417 per girl athlete and about $523 per boy. Adding 40 boy football
players and $35,000 in yearly expenditures would increase this figure to
approximately $574 per boy athlete.
January 5, 2005