The majority of state sports championships this season were won by private schools.

GA mulls separate public, private school sports titles

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Government

The majority of state sports championships this season were won by private schools.

The majority of state sports championships this season were won by private schools.

On the heels of the state championships for many high school sports, the Delaware legislature is considering distinct title games for public and private schools. 

Senate Bill 328, sponsored by Sen. Eric Buckson, R-Dover, directs the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association to separate all public and private school team championship sanctioned events.

“The bill in and of itself is somewhat offensive or not, depending on where you are in the state,” Buckson said.

Dozens of comments on social media flooded in after state championships largely won by private schools.

Many said it is unfair for public schools to be forced to compete with private ones.

While public schools often have a larger number of students to pull from, private schools can lure top athletes with scholarships, some from out of state.

Britney Mumford, executive director of education group DelawareCAN, supported the bill in the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.

“It’s an issue that we hear a lot from constituents. It’s an equity issue,” she said. “Inequitable access to state titles also means inequitable access to potential scholarships and the ability to acquire education for many of our students.”

She spoke specifically on wrestling saying that historically, the number of students at Delaware private schools are disproportionately from Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

“I think that’s really where we need to look when we’re studying the data around this issue,” she said. “How many of the students that are winning Delaware state titles are actually Delawareans, because it’s our job as a state to serve those students first.”

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David Baylor, executive director of the athletic association, said he recognizes the sensitivity of the issue and  acknowledged it merits discussion with all stakeholders. 

He did not support nor oppose the bill. 

The athletic director from Caesar Rodney School District, head of school at Newark Charter and a coach in Colonial School District who previously coached at private schools said they supported the bill.

Senate committees do not vote publicly on bills, but instead sign the back of the bill with their vote after the hearing, which is posted on the bill tracker later. It had not been posted as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

If the education committee chooses to release it, SB 328 will head to the Senate floor for discussion. 

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