Appeals and education-related matters highlight the agenda for first day of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s annual summer meeting.
The LHSAA’s executive committee will begin the meeting at the LHSAA office on Wednesday at 1 p.m. with a review of the three-day agenda and appeals of sanctions levied against four schools during the spring.
At 2:30 p.m., the committee is scheduled to discuss the school vouchers program, also known as Student Scholarship for Excellence Act, which was approved by the Louisiana Legislature this spring.
A short time later, the agenda calls for a a discussion in the changing status of schools, including those becoming charter schools and those that are part of Louisiana’s Recovery School District.
The three-day meeting continues 1:30 p.m. Thursday with bids to host the LHSAA’s Top 28 finals basketball tournament for 2013 and for boys and girls state golf tournaments at stake. An 8:30 a.m. session Friday concludes the the three-day event.
LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson has drawn up proposals designed to address both situations.
“There is a proposal that would allow voucher students to compete,” Henderson said. “There’s also something that would allow recovery district schools to continue to compete without having to wait to compete for postseason honors like new schools do.”
Erin Bendily, of Louisiana’s State Department of Education, is scheduled to be on hand for the discussion of voucher students. The possibility of a voucher program prompted some heated debate at the LHSAA’s annual convention in January, with schools fearing that the vouchers would become a recruiting tool.
However, since the program has been approved and schools have had to list the number of voucher students they will accept for the 2012-13 school year, a different picture has emerged. Henderson noted that less than 400 of the vouchers for 2012-13 are expected to go to high school students.
Istrouma and Pointe Coupee Central are among the schools set to join the Recovery School District, which consists of academically failing schools that have been taken over by the state. Dana Peterson of the Recovery School District is scheduled to be at the meeting. Charter schools will also be part of the discussion.
When schools join the RSD, they receive a new site code and become new schools, often with a new faculty, administration and coaches.
Under LHSAA new schools can only apply for membership in January and must wait a year before playing for championship honors.
The RSD schools are already LHSAA members. Istrouma is part of District 6-4A, while PCC, most recently a charter school, is a District 6-1A member.
Henderson’s proposal would allow the RSD and charter schools to continue competing in 2012-13 without having to re-apply for membership.
West Monroe, West Jefferson, St. Thomas More and Barbe are the schools appealing spring sanctions. The penalties for Barbe and STM involved events that took place at the LHSAA’s state baseball tournaments, according to Henderson.
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