School Sports Bill Advanced By Assembly Committee

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. October 22, 2012

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NJ Interscholastic Athletic Association officials testify before Assembly Education Committee (photo by Phil Gregory)

A bill being considered in the New Jersey legislature would require school districts to allow children in vocational and charter schools to participate in their district’s sports programs.

Supporters of the measure say it’s important to give as many kids as possible the opportunity to participate in sports to learn teamwork and discipline.

Judy Savage is executive director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools. She testified in favor of the legislation.

 “We just want to make sure that a student who’s been playing football or lacrosse or swimming or tennis for many years leading up to high school doesn’t have to make a choice between a career focused education and the opportunity to continue with the sports.”

Steve Goodell is general counsel for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. He says it’s better to leave the decision to the local district.

 “There may be times when a school district thinks that there are already a number of people participating in sports programs and allowing in allowing in additional students who are not at the school would just displace students who are already participating in the program.”

John Burns with the New Jersey School Boards Association has some concerns about the costs.

 “Who’s going to be responsible for the transportation of the student from the charter school or the votech school to the resident school where the sporting event is being held whether it be a practice or a game?”

Assembly Higher Education committee chairman Pat Diegnan says the bill will have to be amended to address those concerns. The measure has not yet been introduced in the state Senate.


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