Messing with High School Football in Ohio

An interesting article from JJHuddle:

*End of the Herbstreit Classic? Entertainment over Education?…Have you heard of House Bill 191? No? Well listen up.

Sponsored by Rep. Bill Hayes, a Licking County Republican, HB 191 would force Ohio’s schools to operate only after Labor Day and before Memorial Day. HB 191 is built upon the premise of students spending the same amount of time in the classroom, but instead of requiring 182 days, students (depending on elementary, middle or high school status) would be required to be in school for 960-1,050 or more hours.

Why suggest this? Hayes thinks the plan will boost tourism opportunities and dollars for Ohio’s amusement parks, resorts and state parks by clearing the entire month of August for family time. As it’s written now, though, HB 191 could also signal the end of high school football – and all extracurriculars – for some schools on Labor Day Weekend.

The bill’s Sec. 3313.621, article (D) states that: “No school district board shall agree to or permit a school under its control to participate in any extracurricular events on Friday through Monday of the Labor day weekend. This prohibition shall not apply to any district or school that has an agreement with another district or school or with an athletic association or conference, entered into prior to the effective date of this section, that requires participation in extracurricular events on that weekend. However, the district board shall not enter into a new agreement or renew an expiring agreement on or after the effective date of this section that requires participation in extracurricular events on that weekend.”

Basically what that means is unless you’re football team is playing a league game in Week 2, you would eventually be locked out of competition on Labor Day Weekend should HB 191 pass. Since the Herbstreit Classic operates on year-to-year contracts, that event would be finished, unless it moved to a different weekend.

Soccer, volleyball, cross country, golf, tennis and even band would be affected.

Workarounds for schools could include signing “lifetime” contracts with non-league opponents or a “pool” of non-league opponents.

According to an article in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, the legislation has been assigned to the House Education Committee and has yet to have a hearing.

As one educator put it: “It’s ludicrous. You’re (bleeping) with children’s education in order to get more people to spend money.”

Not to mention you’re messing with high school football…

Not sure where to begin on this one.  First of all there is the obvious loophole that his blackout period is Friday-Monday of Labor Day Weekend, which leaves open playing the games on Thursday night in that week, which is usually Week 2 of the high school season.  But either way I find it rather confusing.  I thought Republicans were the party of smaller government, and greater local control of schools instead of hamstringing schools with big brother mandates and rules?  I know I heard that somewhere.

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