Keeping kids in school through sports: That’s the thought process behind a Louisiana senate bill set before that state’s House Education Committee on Tuesday. The bill was tabled and its effectiveness questioned.
The thrust of it is it would “allow eighth-graders who failed the state mandated LEAP test and became too old to play middle school sports the ability to play in high school,” according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune story. The bill also would extend athletic eligibility to 19 years of age and remove the cap on a team’s non-faculty coaches. (It should be noted that as long as you don’t turn 19 before Sept. 1 of your senior year, you’re eligible for varsity competition in Louisiana; in Mississippi, the date is Aug. 1. So I guess the bill would allow kids to turn 20 during their senior years and still play?)
I don’t know the rules in Louisiana for junior high kids playing varsity athletics; the story wasn’t clear on that. I know that in Mississippi, it’s not uncommon for seventh- and eighth-graders to play up. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting story and wondered if y’all thought that athletics keeps very many kids in school.