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Reclassification proposal based on socioeconomic status denied by IHSAA

Posted: 3:02 PM, Aug 02, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-02 17:02:08-04

A proposal to shake up the classification system for high schools across the state has been denied. The Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) unanimously voted against the proposal during its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 2. 

The way high schools are classified in the Gem State isn't changing anytime soon, after the IHSAA voted against a proposal to factor in the socio-economic status at each member high school. 

While the board agreed the proposal -- in theory --was a good idea, board members said now just isn't the time to move forward with it. 

"I would hope that that's always a conversation...of looking out for kids in schools that do have obstacles that most schools do not," said Josh Hegstad, Caldwell High School Athletic Director and member of the IHSAA Reclassification Committee. "...and looking at bringing those kids back into the fold and participating in interscholastic sports." 

Right now, member schools are assigned classification based only on enrollment, but advocates say factoring in the number of students receiving free or reduced meals would help foster competitive equity.

Schools will have the ability to play in a lower conference, so long as they receive approval from their district superintendent, or the IHSAA. Officials say that petition process would help schools with limited resources. 

"That, I appreciate, and that -- I think -- will benefit those schools that would've benefitted from the proposal," Hegstad said. 

The current classification system has been in place for nearly two decades.