- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California would recognize competitive cheerleading as a high school sport under pending legislation.

The state Assembly on Monday overwhelmingly approved a bill requiring the California Interscholastic Federation to oversee competitive cheerleading as it does other high school sports.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego says cheerleaders should be treated as athletes.

Gonzalez’s office says at least eight other states treat competitive cheerleading as a sport. Formal recognition would mean consistent safety rules and training for coaches.

Her bill, AB949, would make the change by the 2017-2018 school year.

The legislation advanced to the Senate on a 71-to-3 vote.

Gonzalez is a former high school and college cheerleader. She is also pushing a bill that wouuld provide minimum wage and overtime protection to professional cheerleaders.

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