J. Thomas McNamara

Someone once said, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind’s made up!”
     That came to mind when I received the straw votes from last week’s first Illinois High School Association’s Legislative Committee meeting that took place Monday, Nov. 4.
     The vote for Proposal 6 which is the Cooperative Team proposal that St. Teresa Principal Larry Daly had a hand in drafting garnered only 10 yesses, 21 nos and two abstentions. Four of the 10 yes votes came from non-boundaried (Private) school representatives. Therefore, only six public school reps voted for expanding the cooperative team enrollment to 400 from 200. Most of the 21 no votes came from southern and central Illinois.
     According to Don Sebesteyn, executive director of the Interscholastic Council of Private Schools, “The commissioners did not engage the four private school reps in discussion.”
     Their collective minds were made up before they arrived for the meeting and didn’t want to hear anything Daly and the others may say about their proposal that might benefit all kids in education, boundaried and non-boundaried.
Daly and the others stated their reasons for expansion and attempted to alleviate the fears the public schools had. Sebesteyn said the Commissioners spent a lot of time discussing proposals 7, 9, and 25 because they were good for kids, but didn’t spent any time on proposal 6.
     Sebesteyn also informed that this is the third time this proposal has been presented. Each time it was crafted to meet the concerns the public schools had expressed previously.
Next week’s print edition contains an in-depth look at some the suggested proposals members of the Illinois High School Association are considering. Don Sebesteyn, executive director of Interscholastic Council of Private Schools (ICOPS) provided the Decatur Tribune with its thoughts on some of them.

     I am reaching out to the public schools he covers for comments for those willing to go on the record about these various proposals that could change the Illinois prep landscape for years.
     Recently, the Decatur Tribune had comments from seven coaches who believe the district proposal scheduled to take effect in 2021 will not occur because schools do not like giving up their scheduling autonomy to the IHSA and having two games not count toward their overall records for playoff consideration.
     Turn to next week’s public Decatur Tribune edition for my in-depth look at the proposals members are considering.

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