Talks continue on home-school, charter-school athletes: Hang-up involves reimbursement of member schools, 14 August 2007, Deseret Morning News, Salt Lake City, Utah
For the fourth time in three months, state legislators discussed with the Utah High School Activities Association how charter and home-school students might be more uniformly offered the chance to play prep sports for their home boundary public high school.
Most of the legislators on the Administrative Rules Committee lean toward making public school programs, like athletics, available to charter-school and home-school students. And while home-school students are more easily accommodated, charter-school students are a more complicated situation.
First of all, they are still considered public school students. The tax money associated with that student follows him if he decides to attend a charter school. That money does not follow private school or home-school students.
The other problem that the UHSAA can’t solve is forcing districts to absorb those students if they don’t want to or can’t work out financial or educational issues.
The difficulty with sports for kids in the U.S. is that the various pots of money meant by the taxpayers to pay for the kids’ educations ties football and basketball to English, biology and business math. Separating sports from academics would enable all kids in a community to be eligible to play for the glory of the town, if that’s the purpose of the sports programs. It would help if we sorted out what the purpose of the teams is, whether it is feeder teams that lead to the professional leagues, or sports for kids.
The intent of a taxpayer-funded education also comes into play. Is the intent of public education to provide an education for those who choose public school, or is the intent to provide a tailored education for all children?
I understand that changing the structure of the various sports associations across the country from ‘some kids eligible’ to ‘all kids eligible’ would be hard. It would not be impossible, but the people who want their kids to be able to play on group sport teams are the ones who will have to put the energy into the change. Budging a monolith isn’t easy.
At the article’s site, it is hard to tell if the intent behind some of the comments is because it is hard for people schooled in the current model to think of another solution, or if the root feeling is a ‘you made your bed, now sleep in it’ ‘punishment’ of families who chose a non-public education for their children.
posted by Valerie