Interim Study – High school sports divisions

Interim Study – High school sports divisions

The Senate interim study on the competitive inequity generated by advantages that some public and private high school sports teams have over others, has been set. It has been scheduled by the chair of the Senate Education Committee for September 11, 2:30 PM, at the state capitol. We will discuss the need for re-classification of OSSAA member schools based on competitive inequities present among school sports teams. We are inviting all interested stakeholders (coaches, teachers, administrators, parents, students) to attend, as it will be an open meeting. Senator Ron Sharp (R) of Shawnee is the traditional public school advocate who has sponsored this study.

Competitive equalization (a level playing field) for all OSSAA member schools is a priority for many of our Oklahoma public schools, especially our rural and suburban schools. We will be be providing evidence that the “bump-up” clause of Rule 14 has not been effective for “competitive balance” in the OSSAA. We further believe it is in the public interest for the Oklahoma State Legislature to protect the public interest by enacting legislation which will effectively balance the playing field for all OSSAA member schools.

In addition to the evidence that some member schools utilize unfair advantages to succeed (at the expense of other member schools), we will provide a re-classification plan which will be effective for “leveling the playing field”. All stakeholders are welcome and encouraged to attend the Senate Education Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 11, at 2:30 PM.

Update: The interim study will probably be held in room 535 at the state capitol. It can seat approximately 150, but has “standing room” also. If “traditional public school advocates” would like a seat, they need to arrive early to observe the proceedings.

Update: August 22, 2018 – Those in attendance will not be able to question or critique the presentation or data. If one has a question for any speaker, please contact your local Senator (if he or she is on the Senate Education Committee) ahead of September 11, and have her (or him) ask the question…

Update: August 23, 2018 – I continue to stand amazed that several traditional public school advocates (and I truly believe they are advocates) continue to believe that “privatizing” public schools threatens education, but cannot or will not see the similarities between vouchers and scholarships. Vouchers to private schools and privately managed charter schools means turning public money (tax dollars) over to corporations and entrepreneurs or religious schools. Vouchers to private schools and “selective” charter schools in the form of student financial assistance and scholarships is the same thing.

We cannot draw the line between vouchers and “athletic” scholarships when advocating for our traditional public schools, or we cannot win this battle for public schools in general.

Update: August 27, 2018 – I think it bears repeating at this point that the Senate Interim Study will be held on Tuesday, September 11, from 2:30 to 4:30 at the state capitol. This is an open meeting for the discussion of competitive equity for OSSAA member schools, although not everyone in attendance will be allowed to comment. The list of speakers has been sent to the Senate Education Committee, but all those advocates for competitive equity in the OSSAA are urged to attend. Even those who believe this issue is a “canard” are welcome to hear the facts as presented.

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