Small Schools Athletic League files civil rights complaint at Department of Education

The SSAL says it’s underserved compared to the larger Public Schools Athletic League. (5/28/14)

THE BRONX - Dozens of student athletes in the Bronx marched to the U.S. Department of Education in Manhattan to protest what they say is an injustice against their sports league.

Students who are part of the 3-year-old Small Schools Athletic League wore their jerseys inside out while hand-delivering a formal civil rights complaint, which claims they are underserved compared to the Public Schools Athletic League.

The complaint alleges that schools with nearly all minority students, such as the borough's International Community High School, receive the least funding for high school sports, while the schools with the largest white populations receive the most.

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SSAL leadership is demanding equal funding and representation for its teams, and wants to be included in the city's 2015 budget as separate from the PSAL. It also wants to move into the city's Office of School Support Services, which reports directly to Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.

The SSAL is sending its complaint to the Department of Justice as well.

The PSAL disagrees with some of the data in the complaint, saying in part that 90 percent of high school students go to school at a campus with at least one PSAL program.

The Department of Education has not yet returned News 12 The Bronx's request for comment.

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