Bipartisan bills in the Ohio state House and Senate would allow last school year’s high-school seniors to voluntarily re-enroll in the fall, allowing them a second chance after a school year decimated by COVID-19 lockdown measures.
“Under a measure introduced this week by GOP Sen. Andrew Brenner, of Delaware, and Democratic Sen. Teresa Fedor, of Toledo, students who just finished their senior year could re-enroll in 12th grade this fall to take the same classes and get another round of eligibility for sports,” Associated Press reported.
For student-athletes, the bill is particularly crucial.
Many of them missed the opportunity to showcase their skills to college recruiters, as some of their seasons were significantly shortened or canceled entirely.
“The Ohio High School Athletic Association said it wouldn’t support legislation to give students a voluntary fifth year of athletic eligibility,” according to AP.
That group says that “the impact of older athletes competing at the high school level should be considered.”
Some students also saw significant drops in their grades, as COVID-19 forced them to learn virtually, the report said. Those students would potentially use their do-over year to improve their academic scores.
“Existing law gives Ohio school boards local control to govern their districts, but there’s no specific language prohibiting or authorizing such voluntary re-enrollment, said Will Schwartz, deputy director of legislative services for the Ohio School Boards Association,” the report said. “OSBA thinks such decisions are best made by the local boards, but the Senate legislation would force them to allow it, Schwartz said.”
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