BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 949|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |

                                   THIRD READING 

          Bill No:  AB 949
          Author:   Gonzalez (D), et al.
          Amended:  5/6/15 in Assembly
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:  7-0, 7/1/15
           AYES:  Liu, Runner, Leyva, Mendoza, Monning, Pan, Vidak
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Block, Hancock


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-1, 6/1/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Physical education:  competition cheer

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:  This bill requires the California Interscholastic  
          Federation to develop guidelines, procedures, and safety  
          standards to classify competition cheer as an interscholastic  

          ANALYSIS:   Existing federal law, Title IX, requires local  
          educational agencies to ensure that male and female students are  
          provided equal opportunities to participate in interscholastic  
          athletics programs consistent with Title IX (United States Code,  
          Title 20 § 1681 et seq. and Code of Federal Regulations, Title  
          34, Part 106)


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          Existing state law:

          1)Provides that the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)  
            is a voluntary organization consisting of school and  
            school-related personnel with responsibility for administering  
            interscholastic athletic activities in secondary schools.   
            (Education Code § 33353)

          2)Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to have  
            the following authority over interscholastic athletics:

             a)   The CDE may state that the policies of school districts  
               and the CIF are in compliance with both state and federal  

             b)   The CDE may require school districts or the CIF to  
               adjust policies to be in compliance, but the CDE does not  
               have the authority to determine the specific policy that a  
               school district must adopt in order to comply with state or  
               federal law.

             c)   The CDE is authorized to begin legal proceedings if a  
               school district or the CIF does not change its policy.

          This bill requires the CIF to develop guidelines, procedures,  
          and safety standards to classify competition cheer as an  
          interscholastic sport.  Specifically, this bill:

       1)Requires the CIF, in consultation with the CDE, to develop  
            guidelines, procedures, and safety standards for the purpose  
            of classifying competition cheer as an interscholastic sport  
            that is consistent with the United States Department of  
            Education Office for Civil Rights' (OCR) definition of a  

       2)Requires the CIF to develop the guidelines, procedures and safety  
            standards by July 1, 2017.

       3)Requires the CIF to seek an OCR Title IX compliance designation  
            for competition cheer. 

       4)Prohibits competition cheer from counting towards a school's  
            Title IX compliance unless the OCR deems competition cheer  
            compliant with its definition of a sport.


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       5)Defines "competition cheer" as a sport in which teams participate  
            in direct, head-to-head competition with one another using an  
            objective scoring system.

          What is a "sport" under Title IX?  In September 2008, the OCR  
          issued a Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for  
          Title IX Compliance document, "to provide State educational  
          agencies, local educational agencies, and postsecondary  
          institutions with information to ensure that male and female  
          students are provided equal opportunities to participate in  
          intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics programs  
          consistent with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20  
          U.S.C §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations (34  
          C.F.R. Part 106).  Specifically, this letter provides clarifying  
          information to help institutions determine which intercollegiate  
          or interscholastic athletic activities can be counted for the  
          purpose of Title IX compliance; it does not represent a change  
          in OCR's policy under Title IX."   

          The letter outlined several factors to consider on a  
          case-by-case evaluation of whether an activity can be counted as  
          an intercollegiate or interscholastic sport for the purpose of  
          Title IX compliance. OCR will consider factors including:

          1)Program structure and administration.
          2)Team preparation and competition.
          3)Practice opportunities.
          4)Competitive opportunities. 

          According to the federal OCR: 
             It is OCR's policy to encourage compliance with the Title  
             IX athletics regulations in a flexible manner that  
             expands, rather than limits, student athletic  
             opportunities. By disseminating this list of factors, OCR  
             intends to provide institutions with information to  
             include new sports in their athletics programs, such as  
             those athletic activities not yet recognized by governing  
             athletics organizations and those featured at the Olympic  


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             games, if they so choose. Expanding interscholastic and  
             intercollegiate competitive athletic opportunities  
             through new sports can benefit students by creating and  
             stimulating student interest in athletics, taking  
             advantage of athletic opportunities specific to a  
             particular competitive region, and providing the  
             opportunity for access to a wide array of competitive  
             athletic activities.

          CIF sports vs non-CIF sports.  With the creation of competition  
          cheer as a new interscholastic sport, participants in the sport  
          will be governed by rules adopted by CIF, competition cheer  
          coaches will be required to complete the same training as all  
          other interscholastic coaches, and participants will be eligible  
          for an exemption from physical education courses, like all other  
          interscholastic sport participants.

          Slippery slope?  Statutes do not currently address specific  
          sports or direct CIF to do anything other than report to the  
          Legislature and Governor on its evaluation and accountability  
          activities, by January 1, 2016.  Does requiring CIF, through  
          statute, to essentially designate competition cheer, and only  
          competition cheer, as a sport set a precedent for adding one  
          sport at a time?  

          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   No

          SUPPORT:   (Verified7/14/15)

          American Academy of Pediatrics
          California Athletic Trainers Association
          California Interscholastic Federation
          California Medical Association
          California Physical Therapy Association
          California School Boards Association
          Safe Kids San Diego

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified7/14/15)


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          Fair Play for Girls

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     According to the California Physical  
          Therapy Association, this bill makes competitive cheer a sport  
          and provides California students with much needed safety  
          resources and regulations.  Cheerleading injuries account for  
          65% of all major injuries in girl's high school athletics  
          according to the national Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury  
          Research.  Recognizing competitive cheerleading as a sport  
          provides cheerleaders and cheerleading coaches with resources  
          that CIF sanctioned sports receive.  Having CIF standards  
          ensures a certain level of coaching competency and skill, and  
          provides California students the safety standards that are given  
          to CIF sanctioned sports.

          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:     According to Fair Play for Girls,  
          "although the initial impetus for the bill was to make  
          cheerleading safer, we believe that simply designating  
          cheerleading as a 'sport' does not achieve that goal.  Moreover,  
          we have serious Title IX concerns that have not been addressed;  
          we believe this bill will result in schools counting  
          cheerleaders as athletic participants for Title IX purposes  
          without affording female students the structure and benefits of  
          full-fledged sports."

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-1, 6/1/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang,  
            Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle,  
            Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina  
            Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez,  
            Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Roger Hernández, Holden, Jones,  
            Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low,  
            Maienschein, Mathis, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin,  
            Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen, Patterson, Perea,  
            Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago,  
            Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber,  
            Wilk, Williams, Wood, Atkins
          NOES:  Harper
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Irwin, Mayes

          Prepared by:Lynn Lorber / ED. / (916) 651-4105


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