Just like the old saying goes: There is more than what meets the eye. While digging around on a different school, Elite Oregon Girls uncovered a letter addressed to PPS from the U.S. Department of Education regarding a Title IX complaint filed on behalf of the Grant Softball Team. In the letter to PPS, the DOE says that their investigation “indicated” that there might be disparities between the facilities used by baseball and softball. In the letter, the DOE noted that PPS ” willingness to address the concerns identified by OCR comprehensively without further investigation” prompted the DOE to have PPS enter into what is called a Voluntary Resolution Agreement. In short, its a document signed by a district that promises to enter into certain actions and report back to the DOE within a given timeframe, with the goal of adverting further investigation into the matter.
In the agreement, PPS entered into a three part process to resolve the issues. PPS would submit plans to address the inequities to DOE and engage with them until a plan is approved. In the plan, they would lay out specific time lines to remedy the issues or actions they can take for facilities outside their property. After that, its just putting the plan into action, monitoring it, and checking in with the DOE on the progress regarding the agreement.
The agreement, which was signed in April 2020, comes after the Oregon DOE found PPS in violation of Title IX regarding the facility inequities back in 2018. Its also issued and agreed to after PPS began construction on Grant HS from the bond measure, which discussed potential options to address the Oregon DOE findings but never reaching a resolution. In late June, Grant softball coach Deborah Engelstad and players Madyson Roach, Olivia Dunn, and Elisabeth Kollrack filed a federal lawsuit against PPS regarding the ongoing Title IX issues. That case is currently in the U.S. District Court in Portland, with a hearing yet to be set on the case.