A Missouri House of Representatives committee will examine the organization that governs high school sports across the state.
According to Rep. Steve Cookson, R-Poplar Bluff, in a House Communications press release, the committee will examine the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s financial practices, compliance with the Missouri Sunshine Law and other transparency policies, student safety and compliance with the organization’s own bylaws and policies.
The 19-member interim committee will follow the work of a similar committee that in 2007 evaluated MSHSAA. The 2007 Interim Committee on MSHSAA Reform Report and Recommendations proposed a set of changes to the way the organization oversees high school sports.
Cookson will serve as chairman for two days of discussion beginning Wednesday at the State Capitol in Jefferson City.
“As the organization that oversees all high school activities in the state, it is important to ensure MSHSAA is acting in a transparent and accountable way that protects the best interests of our young people,” Cookson said in a press release.
Approximately 580 high schools are members of MSHSAA. Springfield Public Schools five high schools are part of MSHSAA, but its middle schools are not part of the organization. Springfield Catholic is also a MSHSAA member.
The 2007 committee examined who, if anyone, MSHSAA employees or committee members were accountable to, how potential policy violations by a school are reported to the state organization, and academic eligibility standards, among other topics.
“My hope is that representatives from MSHSAA will be fully compliant in answering our questions and providing the information we need to fully assess how effective they have been in implementing the suggested changes,” Cookson said.
A 2015 independent audit of the activities association showed approximately $7.17 million in spending in the last fiscal year compared to just more than $7.2 million in total revenue. MSHSAA’s end-of-year assets climbed from about $3.97 million to $4 million.
Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, will serve as the interim committee’s vice chairman.
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