Charter Pulse

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NEW JERSEY: Bill passes Senate requiring school districts to allow charter, vo-tech or home-schooled students to play sports

sportsThe Senate Education Committee approved a bill this morning that requires school districts to allow students who live in the district but attend charter or vocational schools or who receive “equivalent” instruction elsewhere to participate in the district’s interscholastic sports.

The bill amends currently law which leaves participation to the discretion to the principals of the schools and the local board of education.

Sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) and Sen. Steven Oroho (R-Sussex), the bill would require that student athletes follow the eligibility guidelines established by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Districts would not be required to provide transportation or pay transportation costs.

The bill gives the NJSIAA the power to decide eligibility in disputed cases.

“It’s a fairness issue,” Oroho said. “It’s a very simple bill, and the vast majority of school districts already do this.”

The law would specifically mandate that a student who withdraws from a public school and who is ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletes at the time of the withdrawal would remain ineligible.

The committee heard from a Mine Hill family whose son was not allowed to play football for Dover High School because he attends the Culinary Institute at Morris County Technical High School. Others opposed the measure, saying the standards for eligibility are unclear.

Bucco noted that the bill would not cost districts extra money because parents or guardians would be required to pay any special transportation costs required.

Source: NJ.com – by Peggy McGlone

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This entry was posted on December 16, 2013 by in Charter Schools, New Jersey.

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