PIAA plan would limit athletics at charter schools

    A plan that would limit athletic programs at charter schools is getting a cool reception from lawmakers.

    The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association told a legislative panel Tuesday that many member schools claim that some charters are using their unique status to build “all-star” boys’ basketball teams that public schools can’t fairly compete against.

    PIAA director Bob Lombard proposed legislation requiring charter-school students to play on public-school teams in their home districts unless the sport is offered only by the charter school and not by the public school.

    Charter-school advocates strongly oppose the idea, arguing that interscholastic sports are part of the learning experience.

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    Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, who’s on the special PIAA panel, says athletics and academics are both important and that students’ interests must come first.

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