RPSB: LHSAA has not given official response on debate over new ‘select’ school definition

RPSB says LHSAA has not given an official response on the debate over the new ‘select’ school definition.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 3:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2022 at 9:58 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - At the July 5 school board meeting, the Rapides Parish School Board said they have yet to receive an official response from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association on the ongoing debate over the new “select” school definition for sports.

The school board voted last month to pursue legal action against the LHSAA since every school in Rapides Parish would be impacted by the new definition.

LHSAA’s new definition states that schools with magnet programs, charter schools and parishes with open enrollment will join private schools on the select side for competitive play during playoff time.

Rapides Parish has been under open enrollment for over 10 years to give students the option to go to their school of choice. The school board said back in June that they would not get rid of open enrollment just based on athletics, but they argued that action needed to be taken because the LHSAA’s decision during executive committee was “not fair for students.”

RPSB Superintendent Jeff Powell said he was informed that the LHSAA’s executive committee will meet once again on September 7-8 to review 25 appeals sent by schools and districts wanting to re-evaluate the new “select” school definition. Powell said he has talked to other districts that are facing tough decisions following the LHSAA vote.

“I had one superintendent tell me that they were considering adding some additional special programs and magnet programs in some schools that would allow students no matter where they lived to be able to go to those programs,” said Powell. “They stopped that planning because it was going to then put all those schools in the select status, which are the unintended consequences, or I’m going to believe are the unintended consequences that the LHSAA executive committee created with this particular decision.”

Powell said they are hoping that the LHSAA postpones implementing the new “select” school definition until the full LHSAA board can meet in January for the annual convention where every principal can voice their concerns.

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