PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Portland School Department will be working to offer a more athletic opportunities for female students.
It's part of an agrement it reached with the US Department of Education, after that federal agency found the district was not providing girls with equal athletic opportunities as boys.
Title IX was put into effect to ensure that girls have the same opportunities as boys when it comes to athletics. The rule applies to any education program or activity receiving Federal funding.
A review by the Federal Department of Education found opportunities for girls were not in proportion to their enrollment in the city schools. Also athletic facilities in Portland favored boys.
For example boys baseball teams play a Hadlock Field, a minor league facility and home of the Double A Portland Sea Dogs, while the girls softball teams play at Payson Park and the field at Deering High School.
"We do think that if that kind of Double A stadium is available to boys, it should also be available to girls. We want all of the athletes in the district to have the same athletic experience", Department of Education's Catherine Lhamon told News Center.
Deering Athletic Director Melanie Craig says it was a learning experience for the city's athletic administrators when the review found girls in Portland schools are not getting the same opportunities as boys.
"It definitely brought to light a couple of issues that we could fix. It wasn't anything glaring, but it was some little things to do to make sure that all of our athletes feel valued", she said.
Department of Education officials say the findings in Portland should serve as a reminder to all school districts in Maine to review their own male and female athletic offerings.