Wheeler Decries Scheduling of Education Hearing at Time when Affected Stakeholders Can’t Attend

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has asked the Chairwoman of the Illinois House’ Elementary & Secondary Education Committee to reschedule an ill-timed hearing into the feasibility of the State Board of Education taking over the functions of the Illinois High School Athletics Association (IHSA).

The Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, chaired by Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) has scheduled a meeting for 4:00 PM Friday, October 3 at a Chicago south-side high school to gather testimony on the issue.

“This is a blatant example of political shenanigans at its finest,” said Wheeler, a member of the committee. “This is a late Friday afternoon on a football Friday during Homecoming season. All schools are going to be ‘all hands on deck’ with their local sporting events and will be unable to send representation to the hearing.”

House Resolution 895, approved on April 7 in a 55-51 vote, directs the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee to hold hearings on the administration and funding of high school sports, the safety of athletes, the systems and protocols of the IHSA, the costs associated with the administration of high school sports and the feasibility of transferring the duties and functions of the IHSA to the State Board of Education. Chapa LaVia was the Chief Sponsor of the resolution.

“They could not possibly have made this hearing more inconvenient for the major stakeholders who stand to lose the most,” said Wheeler. “Families, coaches, volunteers and players will be busy that night with local sporting events, but I believe it’s by design. I must wonder if they want to shut the major stakeholders out of the discussion.”

At the time of this posting, Chapa LaVia had not responded to Wheeler’s request for a meeting date and time change.

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