Private School Representative Brings Issue to Attention

Thanks to WCRIS advocacy, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control voted in opposition of the most recent plan to address competitive equity at its January meeting Wednesday.

The Board voted 6-5 against a basketball “Rural/Urban” competitive equity plan initiated by the Board. The proposal sought to place schools in Divisions 3, 4 and 5 by enrollment and by U.S. Census data, with classification codes based on proximity to urban areas.

WCRIS opposed the plan and urged the board to reconsider. In a letter before the critical vote, WCRIS Executive Director Sharon Schmeling urged the Board to “… delay action on its implementation and take time to review the proposal in light of objective data and an analysis of what it will actually accomplish.”

Her letter demonstrated how private schools were mostly affected by the proposed change, and she urged the board to reject the proposal and appoint an ad hoc committee of public, charter and private school representatives to review the perceived problem and propose a solution.

The WIAA Board of Control includes a private school representative who keeps the WCRIS Board apprised of issues affecting private schools. That representative, Ted Knutson of Aquinas Catholic Schools in LaCrosse, was invaluable in helping navigate the WIAA Board’s process, Schmeling said.

“Thanks to contributions of principals like Ted on various state committees, WCRIS is able to protect our students, schools and interests,” Schmeling said.