I got to watch the Moscow Girls basketball team compete down here in the state tournament this last Friday night. There were lots of parents down here for the event and a couple even came by my basement office. I remembered the energy we parents felt at our kid’s extra-curricular activities. I only got to one of Emma’s four state soccer tournaments. It was fun. I never got to see Soona compete at the state swim meet but I caught Mattie’s last one where she won the fly. Sometimes we parents can forget what it’s all about.
A Senator came up to me on the floor to tell me about a bill he had that affected a school “up in your area”.
“What’s it about?”
“It has to do with letting kids participate in district or state competition if they come from different schools.”
I wasn’t sure about this description. The bill seemed simple enough. But I decided to check with the IHSAA and see what they said about it. In the meantime I checked with the House sponsor, a representative from my district. He said this was a compromise that nobody opposed. “We’ve been working with the agency all summer and they wouldn’t budge. So we offered this solution and they aren’t fighting it.”
The IHSAA told a different story. It seems the senator sponsoring this bill has a son who plays sports at a certain school that isn’t accreditied. IHSAA bylaws allow unaccredited schools to participate as associates. Only schools that have a nationally recognized accreditation are allowed to be members and fully participate (meaning districts and state competition). We have another school in our district with similar accreditation.
The Director of IHSAA said,”These schools will never get accredited because they proudly hire uncredentialed teachers. ” I could remember the letters to the editor in our town newspaper about this.
The “compromise” for IHSAA came when a staff member at the Department of Education called IHSAA and said he would be responsible for the accreditation of these two schools. Still, IHSAA will need to change their bylaws so these two non- nationally accredited Christian schools can compete in sports at the state and district level. And somebody in the State Department of Education is giving his blessing.
It seems to me they want it both ways. They are not held to the same standards as the “guvmint” schools but want to play ball on the same court. Amazing what parents will do for their kid’s sports.