Bill passed by Oregon Senate would allow charter students to play public school sports

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MEDFORD -- Logos staff said they're excited to see Senate Bill 208 move forward in the Oregon Legislature.

The bill passed Wednesday, and now moves to the house of representatives. If passed, it would require school districts to allow public charter school students to participate in extracurriculars. Logos director Joe VonDoloski said this is a relief for students who were recently turned away from teams in the Medford School District.

"We're only talking about a very small group of students here at the school that got cut from their sports team. They've been playing with these kids a lot of their life and so they were just really heartbroken," VonDoloski said.

One of these students is Tanner Lee. The Logos Sophomore said when Medford decided to allow charter students on a case by case basis only until 2018, he made the decision to not play baseball for South Medford anymore.

"I've been playing my whole life and then this year there was just so much conflict I just didn't even want to play and it seemed more political than fun for baseball so I just didn't play and now I'm working instead," Lee said.

VonDoloski said Logos is planning ahead in case the bill does not pass.

"We were going to plan to start a track team and a cross country team for middle school this next year and over the years and build a sports program as we were able. Now it looks like we might not have to," he said.

Under this bill school districts can decide eligibility requirements for these students such as test scores, but it puts a limit on how much schools can charge for participation.

Under current law, schools must allow home school students to participate but they can deny charter students. Senate Bill 208 would re-write this policy.

The Medford School District said its current policy is allowing charter students as space and resources allow.

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