Update: More Thoughts on Booster Clubs in New Mexico

In our last post, we clipped an editorial by Ned Cantwell, who correctly made the point that if gender quotas were applied to booster clubs, you would say goodbye to bake sales, carwashes and other fundraisers for your child’s sports teams. After receiving criticism for his column, Ned fired back. The following snippet clarifies not only what he said but also addresses Martha Burk’s incorrect statements on the proposed law:
Here’s what I said. The law will prevent booster clubs, say, the girl soccer team, from holding a car wash to fund its annual banquet. Instead, the column suggested, there would be one super dooper booster club to equally distribute money donated or raised privately.
Not true. The School Athletics Equity Act stipulates everything connected to high school athletics, private donations and public funding, will be reported to the state. Therefore, the proceeds of the car wash will be recorded along with the $10,000 gift from the rich guy to whatever team his kid plays on. We will also record the number of coaches each team has and how much each is paid, as well as a lot of other time-consuming data gathering.
The New Mexico School Athletics Equity Act has no enforcement power. It simply exists so that “sunshine” and “transparency” will brighten the high school athletic scene.
The purpose of the law is to make sure districts include private funding when abiding by the federal Title IX Act to make sure boys sports and girls sports are treated equally. Any substantial donation to any team will then give the school district a major headache. As Burk told me on the telephone, and wrote in the Albuquerque Journal:
“…In plain English, this means that if booster clubs provide lavish meals, equipment, and other benefits to boys (or girls) teams, the district must ensure that equivalent benefits accrue to opposite sex teams. How that is accomplished is up to the district….”
That last line is the killer. In fact, the law will discourage private donations and involvement by parents and supporters. How is a cash-strapped district supposed to counter a $10,000 gift from a deep pocketed donor to either a boy or girl team and make sure the others are equally compensated? The unfortunate answer is they probably couldn’t and would have to turn down the donation to stay within compliance of Title IX.
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