Republican lawmakers introduced two bills. One would put control of fall sports into the hands of districts, while the other would let parents give their children a do-over the 2020 school year.

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The conversation started with sports and the governor’s recommendation last week. Now lawmakers are looking at not just athletics, but educational opportunities that students lost due to the pandemic.

“One daughter had been selected for chorus fest and she missed out on that — and you know, field trips plus assemblies,” said Heather Snyder, who has three daughters in the South Butler School District.

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Representative Mike Reese introduced a House bill Tuesday morning that would allow local school districts to decide the future of athletics this fall.

“What works in Philly may not work in Pittsburgh. What works in Pittsburgh may not work in Scranton or Erie, but I think we need to let them play as best they can,” Reese said.

In a package proposal, Representative Jesse Topper sponsored the second bill.

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“If a family feels that their child or children are not getting an acceptable education this coming school year, then they have the right to ask that school district for an extra year at that grade level for that student,” Topper said.

Topper said if passed, the decision to repeat the grade will now be up to the parent rather than the educators.

“I wouldn’t want somebody else telling me that my kid had to, but if it was up to the parent and they chose to that would be fine,” Snyder said.


The decision could be impacted not just by lack of education opportunities, but the potential loss of sports and other school activities.

“With extra curricular opportunities that involve sports, music, science and other clubs and activities that are available to students. Let me be clear, if we do not have these opportunities, we no longer have the ability to call that public education,” Topper said.

These bills would only impact two school years — last year and this year.

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Both will go to the House Education Committee for consideration.