State Senate to study Georgia High School Association

A group of state lawmakers will meet in Savannah on Tuesday to hear testimony about the Georgia High School Association and its connections in the state.

The GHSA is a voluntary organization that oversees athletic eligibility and competitions for more than 450 schools in Georgia.

Earlier this year, the Georgia State Senate approved a resolution to establish the Senate Study Committee on Athletic Associations. The study committee was set up to examine the transparency, accessibility and diversity of the GHSA, and then make recommendations for any necessary legislation.

“Each year we have the pleasure of dealing with the Georgia High School Association,” said Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White. “GHSA is the only entity we know of that can bypass the Department of Education as well as our local school districts.”

Recently, Thompson said, he has received complaints from families about GHSA transfer rules and how they can negatively impact student-athletes. He also said some school districts have expressed concerns about GHSA membership costs.

GHSA executive director James Robin Hines will present at Tuesday’s meeting and said he welcomed the review by lawmakers.

“I have full confidence in the way the Georgia High School Association operates,” Hines said. “Our nearly 470 member schools feel the same way.”

Thompson encouraged anyone who had interactions with the GHSA to share their stories on ghsastudycommittee.com.

“We need to do something legislatively to correct this problem. What it looks like is entirely up to the Georgia High School Association,” said Sen. Thompson. “If we’re going to scrap the whole organization and put it in place under the Ministry of Education to make sure we have diversity, due process and accountability, I’m quite prepared to If we have to do just a few things to be able to start it in the right direction and be accountable and let the good people in the state of Georgia be able to function and educate and participate, then that’s what must happen.”

The study committee will meet Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Armstrong Center.

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