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Bill that would ensure local control on school sports heads to governor’s desk

House Bill 2787 would grant the governing authority of a school entity with exclusive authority to determine whether to hold school sports and extracurricular activities in-person during the 2020-21 school year

Rep. Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland/Somerset) praised Senate passage of his bill to ensure decisions about school sports and activities, including policies regarding spectators, are made at the local level. The measure now heads to the governor’s desk, and Reese is encouraging the governor to sign it.

“The fall sports season is now underway at most school districts across the state, but there are so many questions for parents, grandparents and other loved ones who aren’t sure if they’ll be allowed to watch their student athletes compete,” Reese said. “And what about students who participate in band, choir, theater or other activities…will their parents be permitted to see them perform?

“The governor saw the wisdom of allowing local school officials to make decisions about student instruction based on virus cases and other factors unique to their districts. There is no logical reason to take decisions about the sports and activities portion of our children’s educational experience out of local hands. The governor should sign the bill and let our school boards, school administrators, parents and students make the best choices for their districts.”

House Bill 2787 would grant the governing authority of a school entity or nonpublic school with exclusive authority to determine whether to hold school sports and extracurricular activities in-person during the 2020-21 school year. School officials would be responsible for establishing safety protocols for permitting visitors and spectators to attend sports and in-person extracurricular activities; limits on gatherings for indoor and outdoor sports and in-person extracurricular activities to ensure social distancing; protocols for sports consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Considerations for Youth Sports; and methods of ensuring that social distancing and other safety measures are in place for students, staff and spectators.

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