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"The Voice of Texas Basketball"

LEGISLATIVE REPORT

PLEASE NOTE: The House Education Committee could hear some of these Bills as early as April 1st, so responding today is very important.

AssistantCoach Systems has donated a website tool to make it easy for anyone in Texas to send emails to their State Representative, Senator, the Education Committees, and the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor. We urge you to go to this website now and spend 2 minutes to add your name to the list of those who oppose the legislation. You can find the tool at http://www.assistantcoach.net/poe. This website also allows you to view the Bills and their impact.

The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches supports the University Interscholastic League which has governed the interschool competition of its member schools for over 90 years. Under the UIL our system of extra-curricular competition is the envy of all other states. TABC also is in favor of continuing to have full-time coaches, residency requirements, and accelerated physical education activities. The following bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate threaten to do away with this system and for no other reason other than the selfishness of a few individuals who want to be a part of our great system of educational competition, but do not want to follow the present rules of fair play.

Please study the information that follows, the suggestions on a course of action and then get busy. It is worth our time to be heard in order to preserve this valuable system we have in place.

BILL SUMMARY WITH IMPACT ON OUR PRESENT SYSTEM:

Home School Participation

HB 214 Mc Call , Plano Allows UIL participation if local school agrees and students dont drop out of public school last week of grading period or while they are ineligible. Provides funding to school.

SB 412 Shapiro, Companion to HB 214.

HB 230 Nixon, includes home school participation.

Impact:

Students would be competing under different standards as home school students have no state mandated curriculum standards

home school students would dislodge students who actually attend the school each day and follow strict requirements for the privilege of representing the school.

teachers serve as academic and athletic coaches and directors of University Interscholastic League music and drama competitions and select competitors from classes and their time is already at a premium (having to evaluate other individuals and schedule additional practice sessions would cause a logistic nightmare).

Private School Participation

HB 230 Nixon, Houston Lets any private school or home school child in. Lets any child eligible to attend a school participate unless student withdraws academically ineligible. In that case cannot participate for 300 days.

HB 332 Hochburg, Houston Admits all private schools with minimum enrollment of 500 into AAA and above. Attendance zone same as multiple school ISD not zone. Same bill Senator Armbrister filed last session. (passed Senate 22-7 last session) Passed public ed. In house but died in Calendar Committee.

HB 1164 Nixon, Houston doubles single sex enrollment and requires UIL to align all private schools same as public. Uses entire ISD not attendance zone for residence purposes.

SB 700 Ogden, Bryan Companion to HB 1164

Background Information:

UIL Legislative Council admitted two large private schools (Dallas College Prep HS and Houston Strake Jesuit College Preparatory) on January 13, 2003 that had no possibility of joining another League into conference 5A.

Impact:

All other private schools have a leaguer to participate in and can win private school state championship.

Members of the council expressed serious concerns over public schools in smaller conferences being able to compete effectively against private schools their size.

Those concerns are illustrated in the 2002 Missouri study cited below where private schools do have an advantage.

Private schools do not have to admit all children.

Private schools control the number of students who attend and could control their University Scholastic League classification while a public school cannot.

The Council concluded that those two schools should compete in 5A because they have student populations with a much higher percentage who could try out for UIL activities than a public school of similar size. Presidents from those two schools report that it is unusual for a graduate not to attend college, extremely high college admission scores, very low student turn over during four years of high school. The Council has imposed the same standard on magnets or special schools for academically gifted students in 361 for academics, drama, and music activities. Although those schools were not opened to compete in team athletics, the rule has that effect because schools must compete in the same conference in all activities.

Some other states use a multiplier for private schools to try to level the playing field with public schools of similar size.

A recent Missouri study illustrated that private schools had a high frequency of appearance in a top playoff position for trophies and top four finishers in the state from 1993-1997. Missouri has 500 public schools and 65 nonpublic schools. A summary of their findings indicates:

There were no difference between public and nonpublic schools, we would expect about 13% of any group of schools to have a high frequency of appearance (HFA) in a top position. Only 10% of public schools were HFAs in contrast to 34% of nonpublic. They also found: on the average, nonpublic schools earn about 2.7 times as many trophies as public.

Missouri also found that nonpublic schools had a higher rate of dropouts and that students changed schools much more frequently than private schools.

According to officials at TEA, Texas public schools had a dropout rate of 1.0% and students change schools at the rate of 21.5% during the past school year.

Abolish UIL

HB 580 Nixon, Houston-Governor would appoint 15 members to a commission, eliminates no pass, no play, and transfers all assets to the commission.

Impact:

Why would elected officials eliminate an organization that has served public school children in a fair and effective manner since 1910?

The UIL already answers to the Commissioner of Education who is appointed by the Governor as the commissioner has the power to approve or reject all rule changes.

UIL is under the President of the University of Texas at Austin and is governed by all rules adopted for the University of Texas by the legislature. UIL funds are controlled through UT accounting division and subject to audit. UIL files an annual financial report with the governor.

UIL rule making process is similar to NCAA where college presidents determine policy. School superintendents elect the UIL Legislative Council and they recommend rule changes to the Commissioner at TEA for his approval or disapproval. The UIL Legislative Council has 20 members who are elected by Superintendents according to conference and geographical region and the Council Chair appoints eight additional members to reflect ethnic, gender, and student population.

Policies determining how schools are placed into districts and conferences is mandated by the rules superintendents recommend and the commissioner of TEA approves.

School superintendents are expressing serious concerns to their UIL Legislative Council representatives regarding the consequences of replacing an organization that has governed responsibly and fairly with an unknown entity that would have no insulation from powerful individuals who favor changes that benefit one school over others.

Elimination of Full Time Coaches

HB 1593 Nixon, Houston permits school districts to employ part time coaches. Also sets up a State Board of Education review of UIL rules, procedures, and programs as to whether the rule, procedure, or program adversely affects: school budgets; way employees carry out duties; students meet curriculum and requirements for recommended high school program; ability of a student to attend school district or school of choice; ability of a student to participate in tutoring, extracurricular activities that are not school sponsored or mentoring opportunities.

Impact:

Could cause an environment for student athletes that would be less safe (physically and mentally) as most coaches have had college courses involving age appropriate development practices.

Would remove moral protection of Professional Practices Act that current UIL rule provides by requiring full time employees to coach in grades 9-12.

Could provide less oversight by superintendent as part time employee would be able to disregard rules without losing most of his/her income. Could cause more involvement of over zealous boosters. Would also increase problem of superintendent trying to maintain balance between activities.

School located in towns that are close to institutions of higher learning would have greater access to part time coaches and have a competitive advantage.

Coaches would no longer be part of faculty and under review of principal or superintendent as part of the school academic mission.

Could cause elimination of UIL Residence Rule.

Legislative Information

The 78th Legislative session began on January 14, 2003 and will continue for 140 days. There are 31 members of the Senate and 150 members of the House of Representatives. Senators are elected for 4 year terms and House members serve for 2 years. The Lt. Governor (David Dewhurst) serves as President of the Senate. The Representatives elect a Speaker of the House (Tom Craddick).

During the session approximately 6,000 bills will be filled and about 25% will become law. Each legislator has an office in their home district as well as at the Capitol. You should contact your Legislators at their office in Austin. To find out who represents you check out the website at www.capitol.state.tx.us.

DOS:

1. Use proper etiquette when addressing any correspondence.

For example:

Honorable John Doe

Capitol Address

Austin, Texas

RE: HB 580

Dear Senator Doe or Representative Doe:

2. Use subject line on e-mail or RE: to give the reason for your letter, such as HB or SB# (House or Senate bill number). Staff members open many pieces of mail and e-mail and sort quickly by subject, such as agency/association form letters, constituent issues, invitations and issues dealing with specific legislation (HB 580).

3. Be concise.

4. Be polite.

5. Conclude with your thanks for their time, your name, position, and place of employement.

DO NOT:

1. Use school letterhead.

2. Threaten with political reprisal.

3. Make your message too lengthy.

Questions or comments? Use this form to send your messages.


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Last Updated: 08/01/02