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Auditor: MSHSL's Handling of Transfer Students Needs More Transparency, Oversight

April 04, 2017 06:18 PM

Would you like to see the legislature change state statutes to add oversight and transparency to the way the MSHSL handles transfer students? Let these lawmakers know your views!

Read the story below and take action above.

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Minnesota's Office of the Legislative Auditor found what it calls deficiencies in how the Minnesota State High School League determines eligibility for students when they transfer schools.

The auditor's report, released Tuesday, called for the Legislature to change state statutes to create more oversight and transparency of the transfer process.

For example, the report recommended lawmakers create "a fair hearing process for transfer student eligibility decisions" and "utilize independent hearing officers selected from a list maintained by the Minnesota Department of Education."

The lead auditor on the report, Judy Randall, cited examples of when transfer decisions by the MSHSL were inconsistent. "In some cases we did find that the league made inconsistent student eligibility decisions," Randall told a House committee Tuesday. "For instance, granting one student eligibility, yet granting another student in a strikingly similar situation, saying they were not eligible."

RELATED: Jury to Weigh in on Lawsuit Against Minnesota State High School League

In his response to the report, MSHSL Executive Director David Stead agreed with most of the recommendations and anticipated having them implemented by the start of next school year.

However, Stead did take issue with the report's recommendation to involve the state education department in eligibility hearings.

"Adding another bureaucratic layer with the selection going through MDE would undoubtedly slow the entire process down," Stead wrote. "In addition, the League does not support assigning costs to students and parents."

Republican State Rep. Bob Dettmer of Forest Lake, a former high school wrestling coach who requested the audit, said he's confident the high school league will make needed changes.

"I have confidence in the league that they're going to be taking a look at this and take it very seriously," Dettmer said. "And improvements are going to be made, and this is going to be the best thing for our schools and for our athletes and for our families."

To read the full report, click here.

Credits

Tim Vetscher and Tom Hauser

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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