|Posted:||August 7, 2020 12:19 PM|
|From:||Representative Mike Reese|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||School Sports During COVID-19|
|In the coming days, I will be introducing legislation that would allow Pennsylvania’s local school districts to make decisions regarding fall sports and activities.
The school year is rapidly approaching and guidance from the Administration continues to change. Students, parents, and communities deserve clear, understandable direction for how extracurricular activities will occur in the fall without worrying that the guidance will change at any minute.
On June 10th, the Governor’s Office and PDE issued Preliminary School Sports’ Guidance for schools, which would allow each school to resume sports-related activities and to develop their own Athletic, Health and Safety Plan. PDE’s PK-12 Athletic Health and Safety Plan Template begins by stating: “The decision to resume sports-related activities, including conditioning, practices and games, is within the discretion of a school entity’s governing body.” On July 29th, PIAA released its guidance for fall sports, recognizing that schools have different approaches to their return to school plans, and offered flexibility to schools, leagues, and conferences.
On August 6th, the Governor made the shocking announcement that sports should not resume until January 2021. The PIAA was completely blindsided by this announcement. Students, parents, and communities are now left reeling from the uncertainty.
Why now, right before schools begin, are schools not able to make their own decisions about sports? Will similar announcements be forthcoming regarding other extracurricular activities? I plan to introduce legislation that will allow schools to make their own decisions regarding resuming sports and other extracurricular activities, including whether spectators are permitted. These should be local decisions driven by local circumstances and included in each school’s Athletic, Health and Safety Plan.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB2787