Bill would open activities to part-time, home schooled students

A bill allowing school districts to let part-time students participate in activities regulated by the Kansas State High School Activities Association is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday afternoon in the House Education Committee. 

The hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in room 546-S of the State Capitol, but could be delayed because of the ceremony for Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer’s swearing in as Governor at 3 p.m. 

HB 2540 would allow – but not require – local school boards to adopt “a policy permitting any student who meets the requirements of this section to participate in any activities offered by such school district and regulated by (the state activities association), regardless of whether such student attends a school in such school district on a full-time basis.” 

The bill seems primarily aimed at home school students, but could also include other students attending non-accredited, non-public schools. Such students would have to be residents of the school district allowing their participation, and the home or private schools must “attest” that the student complies with “all applicable academic requirements for participation in activities offered by such school district.” 

The Kansas State High School Activities Association is expected to oppose the bill because its rules currently require participating students to be passing a minimum of five courses in an accredited school. 

KASB policy, adopted by the Delegate Assembly, “supports the authority of the Kansas State High School Activities Association and local boards of education to establish and enforce academic standards of participation for all students.” 

As a result, KASB will oppose the provision of the bill that would override KSHSAA rules. “Our members support local control and the ability to offer services to students in home and provide schools, but we also believe there should some common academic standards to make sure competition is fair,” said Leah Fliter, KASB Advocacy and Outreach Specialist. 

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