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Archive for Wednesday, January 22, 1992

HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES DRAW FIRE

January 22, 1992

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— Kansas University Coach Roy Williams can't understand why state rules prohibit high school basketball players from practicing dn sowith coaches in the summer.

"What disturbs me is I see our youngsters not developing like those from Oklahoma, Missouri and other states," he said in a letter read to the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

Rep. Robert Vancrum, R-Overland Park, can't accept Kansas State High School Activities Assn. rules preventing high school bands from competing for awards outside Kansas.

The association's rules are "overly restrictive, inconsistent and downright strange," Vancrum said.

To force the association to change, Vancrum and Rep. Ed McKechnie, D-Pittsburg, asked the education committee on Tuesday to pass a bill that would, among other measures, alter the composition of the association's board of directors. The committee took no action on the bill.

"There is wide dissatisfaction among coaches, teachers, parents and even many principals and administrators concerning how this organization operates," Vancrum said.

NELSON Hartman, the association's executive director, opposed the reforms proposed by the legislators.

The bill would require election of classroom teachers and athletic directors and coaches to the KSHSAA board; place KSHSAA under the Open Records Act; prohibit KSHSAA from operating in closed session; and limit the executive director to two terms of four years each.

Rep. Sandy Praeger, R-Lawrence, said the legislation was offered because some people worry the association has too much power.

"I think it's clear . . . there is some unrest with the way the board is governed," said Praeger, a member of the education committee.

"I understand that when people are upset, many times it's because they feel they aren't part of the process. They need to be part of the process," she said.

THE BILL would mandate a 50-member board of directors. The current board is required to have a minimum of 30 members, but it has 50. Under the bill, the board would include 10 members to represent athletic directors and coaches and 10 members to represent classroom teachers who are not coaches.

Vancrum said the board is controlled by school superintendents and principals.

Katie McHenry, principal of Wichita East High School and chair of a KSHSAA study committee on governance, said her committee is considering four plans that address the representation of teachers on the association's board.

Vancrum also said the state's largest schools are underrepresented. In 1990-91, Class 6A schools had 40 percent of the state's students but 8 percent representation of the board. Lawrence High School is a 6A school.

HARTMAN said each of the six classes of schools is generally equally represented. "Our philosophy is that it's an association of schools, not an association of students," he said.

Praeger said she supports creation of a two-tier system of governing high school activities. One would be for 1A through 4A schools and another for 5A and 6A schools.

"The bigger schools have different problems," she said. "I went to a small high school, and we had guys on our football team who would switch into their band uniform and march with the band at halftime. At large schools, students tend to focus on one activity."

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