Ark. Poised to Again Require Minimum GPA for Sports
Johnny Johnson has seen it before: Athletes lose interest in school after they lose academic eligibility to play sports.
That is why Mr. Johnson, the athletic director for the Little Rock school district, and other educators and coaches around Arkansas are speaking out against the state school board's decision to reinstate a policy that requires at least a 2.0 GPA for participation in sports and other extracurricular activities.
And they want to keep a remedial program that the state board also voted this month to drop as part of the new policy. Both changes are expected to go into effect following a 30-day comment period and a final vote next month. While eligibility rules tend to be a local issue, some other states, such as Texas, also have tried to set standards. And while state and local policies have fluctuated over the years, national experts say that the general trend these days is toward tougher academic requirements. For the past five years, students in Arkansas could take part in sports and other activities even if they fell below a C average, provided they enrolled in the Supplemental Instruction Program—essentially 100 hours a week of tutoring—that the state set up when it...
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