Proposed Bill Would Change Requirements To Allow Charter Schools To Participate In State-Sanctioned Athletics

A proposed bill would change who can participate in school sports. The bill would make it easier for virtual and charter school students to play state-sanctioned sports like baseball or football for local schools.

Monday, February 14th 2022, 10:22 pm



A proposed bill would change who can participate in school sports.

The bill would make it easier for virtual and charter school students to play state-sanctioned sports like baseball or football for local schools.

The goal for both sides is to create and maintain a level playing field for students. However, there's disagreement on how that's done.

Former Tulsa Public Schools athletic director, Gil Cloud, has been speaking out online and over-the-air against the bill.

Representative Jon Echols introduced House Bill 4208 in February. If passed, it would make it much easier for charter school students to participate in state-sanctioned activities.

Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy's Audra Plummer believes the bill could be a big benefit for students who do better academically online - but want to be part of a team.

“Families would really enjoy the opportunity to be able to participate in activities in their local cities. So that is something our families have asked about in previous years," Plummer said.

“Just the opportunity, right? So just to give all students in the state of Oklahoma the opportunity to participate," Plummer said.

Grades are often tied to participation.

Without a good way to track student progress in non-sanctioned charter and virtual schools, Cloud said it comes at the cost of academic integrity.

“It’s not a level playing field for those students that we know that are in the member schools," Cloud said.

OVCA is going to the state capitol Tuesday, February 15 to discuss proposals like this one, Plummer said.

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