HB 0164 Relating to Gender Discrimination in Public Schools
Sponsor:LUMPE Handling House Bill:
Committee:EESC LR Number:L0454.01I
Last Action:01/18/95 - Referred H Education - Elementary and Secondary Committee
Effective Date:
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Current Bill Summary

HB0164 Lumpe, Sheila


HB 164 -- Gender Discrimination in Public Schools and Universities

This bill directs the Missouri Women's Council to prepare a report on gender equity in public schools and state-supported higher education institutions. The report will include a review of institutional policies and differences in participation by gender in various educational activities. It will be submitted to the General Assembly by January 1, 1997, and will recommend changes to attain gender equity.

Discrimination against a student in public education based upon gender is prohibited and no one will be excluded based upon gender from participation in an educational program or activity receiving federal or state funds.

Guidance and counseling will be available equally in public schools. Entrance requirements for public education classes will be designed without regard to gender. Equal opportunity for both sexes in athletics will be provided. However, separate school-sponsored teams may be provided for each sex for certain sports. Separate teams will be given resources without disparities based upon gender. Textbooks and instructional materials will be reviewed by the local school board for gender bias. The bill does not prohibit the use of a literary work, but its gender bias will be noted in an annual report each school board will file with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Higher education institutions receiving state funds may not discriminate based on gender in various aspects of their benefits, policies, or functions.

The bill cannot be construed to require preferential treatment for one sex if its participation rate in a state-supported program or activity differs from its prevalence in the community. However, statistical evidence regarding gender imbalance in such programs or activities may be introduced in hearings and proceedings held under this bill.

The department will require public elementary and secondary schools to submit plans for implementing this bill, which it will review annually. The department will provide technical assistance to schools which fail to submit a plan. School districts will be required to participate in gender equality training activities and must use a portion of state aid for professional development to defray associated costs.

The governing body of each state-supported institution of higher education will submit a plan for implementing this bill to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

The bill also establishes procedures for filing complaints of unlawful discrimination with the local school board or the governing body of the state-supported higher education institution. A complaint will be investigated and a written investigation report issued within 90 days after the filing. A person disagreeing with a decision of a school board or governing body based upon a complaint may, after exhausting administrative remedies, file a civil suit in circuit court. Filing a complaint with a local school board does not preempt an aggrieved individual from filing a federal civil rights complaint.