How should the Louisiana High School Athletic Association handle eligibility for students receiving school vouchers?
What about those troublesome questions surrounding charter schools and recovery district schools?
And which site will host the 2013 finals portion of the LHSAA’s Top 28 tournament?
All compelling questions, without a doubt. The LHSAA’s executive committee will look to find answers to these questions and others during its summer meeting that begins Wednesday.
The three-day meeting that will be held locally at the LHSAA office gives the executive committee the chance to tie up any loose ends from 2011-12, finalize plans for the 2012-13 school year and take care of any other miscellaneous items.
Four appeals of sanctions levied during the 2011-12 school year are part of the Wednesday’s agenda. Championship bids for basketball and golf will be awarded Thursday.
Meetings begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Friday’s portion of the meeting is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.
School vouchers have been a hot and often controversial topic for months. The program championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal as a way to give students options other than academically failing schools methodically worked its way through the Legislature.
LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson will submit a proposal that would grant eligibility to voucher students who want to play athletics. Henderson said the effects of the voucher system won’t be as far-reaching as some expected.
“Most vouchers will be going to kindergarten and elementary students, based on the information the schools have submitted to the state Department of Education,” Henderson said. “Statewide, it looks like there will be less than 400 vouchers for high school students, and a lot of those will go to ninth-graders.
“There’s also no way to tell how many of these students will be athletes. So there are still things we don’t know for sure, but there is a proposal that will allow the voucher students to compete.”
The continuing re-organization of schools across the state is another key issue from schools that opt to become charter schools to those taken over by the state that become part of the state Recovery School District.
Istrouma High is the latest local school to find itself moving from the East Baton Rouge Parish school system to the Recovery School District. When schools move to the Recovery School District or become charter schools, they are given new site codes and considered to be new schools by educators.
The decision of some schools to reform as charter schools is happening more often. Neville, of Monroe, is one school that set plans to become a charter school. Henderson said another north Louisiana school scheduled for closure, Downsville, could reopen as a charter school.
These schools are not exactly new schools. There are often changes in faculty, coaches and administration. But all are still part of existing school systems.
“They’re new schools in a lot of ways,” Henderson said. “I’ve put together a proposal that will allow those schools to continue competing without having to wait to compete like new schools that apply for membership (must) do.”
In other matters, Henderson said Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are the two bidders for the finals portion of its combined boys-girls Top 28 tourney. Ruston hosted last year. ULL was the long-time Top 28 boys site before last season.
Henderson met with prospective bidders in Monroe, Ruston and Shreveport for its golf tournaments for 2013 on Friday.