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SPORTS PROPOSAL AIMS TO DEFEAT GENDER BIAS

The results are in.

Now the changes begin.Kathy Hughes, director of curriculum and instruction for Provo School District, introduced to the district board Tuesday a draft policy for expanding competitive sports activities. He explained that it is part of the fallout from a Title 9 review conducted in December 1993.

"We were privileged to have them come," said Hughes, referring to the Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Education.

Representatives for the civil rights office reviewed district compliance with Title 9 - which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program funded with federal money.

Hughes said the decision to come to Provo School District was random but leaves the district standing at attention for the next two to three years.

Hughes said the expansion policy is one step to bring the district into compliance. It includes a number of provisions:

- Local high school principals will conduct periodic surveys to identify emerging student interest in new areas of competition.

- New competitive sports will be added only if enough interest is expressed to warrant fielding and maintaining a complete team for competition, with balance sought between boys' and girls' programs.

- New programs must have other local teams to compete against, even if that includes intramural competition.

- Start-up money will be provided by the school board for initial inventories of equipment and uniforms.

The compliance review looked in detail at Provo District's policies concerning athletic teams, from who did the laundry to whether adequate equipment and supplies are provided for male and female participants in the various programs.

Provo District was one of eight, including Salt Lake City School District, examined by the civil rights office.

Hughes said negotiations between the district and Office of Civil Rights officials to work out any compliance problems are ongoing and will bring about a variety of other minor changes to show good faith.