KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas State Board of Education passed a proposal Wednesday that affects the classification of private schools and athletic competitions.
Provided to the board by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, proposal K.S.A. 72-7114 addresses "private schools winning a disproportionate number of KSHSAA state championships."
Board members discussed comments from their districts regarding instances of unfair advantages affluent schools have over lesser socio-economic areas. Specifically, members referenced rumors of one school recruiting a player from Missouri, with District 3 board member Michelle Dombrosky noting her email inbox suggests the issues primarily hail three schools in the metro area.
The modifier proposal means each school would be evaluated based on geography, success and socio-economics.
For example, if a school wins five consecutive state championships in one sport, it is subject to be moved up classifications.
Some board members shared concerns that smaller schools would be “penalized for success,” causing less successful sports at such schools to suffer.
Conversation circled back to claims primarily involving likely “one league of 4A schools” supporting the proposal as opposed to the initiative coming from statewide support.
“I don’t necessarily feel that just because this is a solution that was presented by them (KSHSAA) that it is necessarily the best solution for all,” District 8 board member Betty Arnold said.
Others mentioned gratitude that “at least they came up with something” after a decade of discussion surrounding the topic.
Nearly unanimously, members said they wish to see more from KSHSAA, even if this proposal provides a baseline.
“I’m really torn about it as well, but I don’t think it’s our job to second guess KSHSAA,” District 4 board member Ann Mah said.
When it came to a vote, the board passed the proposal 6-4.
It now moves to the Kansas Legislature for consideration.