Editorial: High-school sports ... settlement levels the field for girls now, in the future

The civil lawsuit brought by girls for equal footing with boys in high-school sports in the face of budget cuts has reached a satisfactory conclusion.

In fact, as the lawyer for the Florida plaintiffs says, the out-of-court agreement is even better than if the parents had won in court. That is because the deal, in addition to securing a promise from the Florida High School Athletic Association to never unequally cut sports programs again, states the FHSAA will get training in the important federal Title IX legislation that mandates balance.

The important point of contention was raised when the FHSAA, responding to tax shortfalls statewide, called for 20 percent spending cuts in all high-school sports — except football, which tends to make money and is for boys.

The Title IX training, to be advised in part by the plaintiffs’ attorney, who is an Olympic medalist and Title IX book author, has the potential of extending the educational process initiated by the lawsuit. Briefings ought to remind decision makers why Title IX was and remains necessary. Sometimes even the best-intentioned policymakers have a blind spot or just aren’t thinking.

The outcome of this legal exercise ought to shed light and, as they say, move the ball up the field.

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