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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida high school athletics governance bill faces less static in 2016



For several years, Sen. Kelli Stargel and a handful of other Florida lawmakers have pushed legislation to overhaul the governance of high school sports

The effort to remove some powers from the FHSAA, and to give student-athletes easier ability to transfer schools, has regularly run into resistance.

That hurdle has been Senate Education Committee chairman John Legg. And this year, he says he won't repeat the effort.

He said he spent years explaining to his colleagues the reasons the proposal shouldn't pass. That information remains out there, said Legg, who wants to spend his political capital on other issues such as changing class size rules instead.

"Vote it up or vote it down," he said. "I'm not going to stand in the way."

School district leaders have expressed dismay over the concepts, which are in four separate bills including one filed by Stargel and former Senate president Don Gaetz (SB 684).

"I just don't think it's broken," Pasco superintendent Kurt Browning said of the system. "To me, there are much more burning issues than athletics."

Whether they take a position this time around remains to be seen. This could be the year the FHSAA legislation takes hold. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2015 12:17pm]


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