Bill To Allow Okla. Charter Students To Play Sports Dead In Committee

Monday, February 27th 2017, 4:27 pm

A bill that could have allowed students who attend virtual charter schools to take part in school sports in the districts where they live died in a senate committee. 

Senators debated the bill for quite some time, but in the end, too many were concerned about the financial impact the bill would have on school districts.

Under the bill, students who attend virtual classes could be allowed to play sports if they meet grade and attendance guidelines. Opponents point out districts don't get the full amount of tax money for those students, but would still have to provide them with equipment. 

Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Dist. 9, also pointed out the students at a virtual school would be taking the place of brick and mortar student athletes on the field or on the court; a move that wouldn't sit too well with booster clubs.

"These students have chosen not to go to that local school. They chose not to go. But we're gonna allow them to have their cake and eat it too?" said Pemberton.

"Quite frankly, I'm not looking at what's good for the school district. I'm looking at what's good for the students," said Caucus Chair, Sen. Gary Stanislawski.

The bill failed by an 8-to-3 measure.