The bills call on the state board of education to designate a new nonprofit as a state agency governing high school athletics. It would be open to both public and private schools and would have a governing board about a quarter the size of the GHSA board.
This isn't the first time lawmakers have taken aim at the GHSA, complaining about the money it takes in and the costs of attending sporting events that leave some kids outside the stands. Last year, the General Assembly took aim at GHSA over its policies for religious expression on uniforms and an exclusion private schools.
The organization recognizes the seriousness of the situation. The trustees held an emergency meeting Monday morning, just before the hearing, Jay Russell, the assistant executive director, testified. Gary Phillips, selected as executive director in 2014, will retire at the end of the school year, Russell said.
“I don’t know if that will influence the vote at all, but I wanted you to have this information,” Russell told the lawmakers.
It had no discernible effect. The bill passed easily out of the committee, with one “no” vote.
Meadows described his bill as a “stick” and said he won’t hit GHSA with it if he sees “progress” on some of the issues he raised, which include costs, financial transparency and making parents drive all over the state for games.