April 14, 2022

At the School Board Meeting of April 13, 2022, the School Board unanimously approved agenda item H-7, Amendment to School Board Policy 2431, Interscholastic Athletics proffered by School Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III.

The Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is committed to students’ participation in interscholastic sports. In doing so, it recognizes athletics as a mainstay of school districts, schools, and more important, the learning and life experiences of students. In fact, research has shown that athletics, specifically at the high school level, provides a vehicle that improves students’ citizenship, sportsmanship, self-discipline, physical and emotional wellness, and their grade point averages.

In the development, implementation, and enforcement of policies governing high school athletics, M-DCPS has worked with the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), the governing body of high school athletics in the state of Florida. For nearly a century, the FHSAA – through the cooperative efforts of its member schools – has provided opportunities for high school students in Florida to participate on a fair and equitable basis in interscholastic athletic programs that produce vital educational benefits.

Recently, at its meeting of February 28, 2022, the FHSAA voted to establish a new classification system for football. This new system was established via a 9-7 vote, with many expressing concerns that the process was not clear, inclusive, and did not provide an ample time or opportunity for real, meaningful input. Subsequently, there was a resurrection for calls to allow schools to withdraw from the FHSAA. As districts and schools are not bound to membership in the FHSAA and should have an opportunity to review and consider such matters, School Board Policy 2431 should also be aligned. This item seeks to direct the Superintendent to initiate rulemaking to amend School Board Policy 2431 to both align with Florida Statute 1006.20(1) stipulating that membership is not required, thereby enabling schools, in collaboration and consultation with the District to determine membership in the FHSAA by May 30, 2022.

“I want to thank and applaud my colleagues on the Board for their unanimous support of this item and embrace of this issue that will further enable the district and schools to determine best courses of action and possible independence when it comes to membership in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA),” Dr. Gallon stated. “The ability and option for the district and schools to chart their own course in the area of interscholastic membership are long overdue. This policy position is a clear indication of how this Board not only values student athletics, but how it expects our student-athletes and athletic programs to be treated in a fair, equitable, and inclusive manner, and that a failure to do so by the FHSAA or any entity may have consequences.”

To read the full item, click here:

CONTACT: Pavi’Elle Phillips