New OHSAA enrollment proposal could greatly affect Columbus City League

After a historic 2014–15 basketball season in which five Columbus City League schools won district titles, all of the momentum built up by Central Ohio’s oldest league may be facing a steep challenge in 2015–16.

Under a new Ohio High School Athletic Association proposal which aims to add the total number of “community school and STEM” students to the enrollment figures of area schools evenly, the Columbus City League is facing a major influx of proposed added enrollment.

As the Columbus City School District had 1,936 male students enrolled in community and STEM schools in 2014–15, the proposal could mean that each City League school will receive an addition of 121 male students to its total enrollment in 2015–16, even if those students never grace the hallways of those schools.

Ohio Revised Code 3313.537 states:

(1) A student who is enrolled in a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code or in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics school established under Chapter 3326. of the Revised Code shall be afforded, by the superintendent of the school district in which the student is entitled to attend school under section 3313.64 or 3313.65 of the Revised Code, the opportunity to participate in that extracurricular activity at the district school to which the student otherwise would be assigned during the school year…

What does this mean according to the OHSAA business rules?

“Because of this Code, students who attend community schools and STEM schools are provided the same (not more) participation opportunities as students who attend brick and mortar schools. OHSAA Board of Directors adopted Business Rules for Obtaining Enrollment Data indicate that students who have such participation opportunities will be counted in member school enrollments.” (http://www.ohsaa.org/members/EMIS/Community_Schools.htm)

Furthermore…

“ OHSAA business rules stipulate that the number of students who attend community/STEM schools shall be divided evenly among each member school in the respective multiple high school district.” (http://www.ohsaa.org/members/EMIS/Community_Schools.htm)

Using last season’s enrollment guidelines for each division, let’s take a look at the numbers under the new proposal. Below are proposed enrollment figures for 2015–16.

For schools such as Walnut Ridge (Div. II in 2014–15), Eastmoor (Div. III in 2014–15), South (Div. II in 2014–15) and Africentric (Div. IV in 2014–15), the success each program achieved at lower division levels could be short-lived.

The only school whose division standing would not be affected by the passing of the proposal is East, who would remain at Div. II, even after playing for a Div. III district championship last season.

OHSAA member schools have until May 13 to appeal the ODE enrollment figures, which then will be sent into the hands of the OHSAA Board of Directors who have the final say on the matter.

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