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Christian school sues over state’s ban on prayer over PA systems

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A Christian school in Tampa is suing the state’s high-school athletics oversight body over its ban on pre-game prayer broadcast over loudspeakers. Cambridge Christian School filed its suit Tuesday against the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) in federal court. The lawsuit says the association violated the school’s constitutional right to religious speech. The school says the FHSAA “refused to allow the school to offer a prayer over the loudspeaker before the Division 2A state championship football game in December 2015,” according to a press…

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Florida Legislature eases transfer rules for high-school athletes

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The state’s oversight panel for public high-school athletics can breathe a collective sigh of relief after this past legislative session. Conservative lawmakers have had the Florida High School Athletics Association in their crosshairs for the last five years. They’ve said constituents have long complained about their children not being able to play certain sports because of strict transfer rules. In fact, some bills filed last year would have eliminated the organization, which oversees 32 male and female high-school sports played by 285,000 Florida…

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House passes high-school sports bill

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One of several bills aimed at overhauling the state’s oversight body for high school athletics was passed by the Florida House of Representatives on Monday. The House passed the measure (HB 31) by state Rep. Ross Spano, a Dover Republican, on a 109-0 vote. Its main provision is that it would allow private schools to join the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) on a per-sport basis, rather than signing up for a full membership that would require a school to play by the group’s strict rules in…

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Legislature could pave way for high school free agency

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High school athletics in Florida could be in for seismic changes as legislation dealing with the Florida High School Athletic Association is rapidly moving through the House and Senate. After years of attempts, both chambers are closing in on passing a bill that would allow students a lot more freedom to transfer schools without fear of penalties. Proponents of the bill call it an expansion of school choice while opponents warn of a recruiting free-for-all among high schools. If passed,…

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High school athletics bill moves in House

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One of several bills that would overhaul the state’s oversight body for high school athletics was approved again by a House panel Thursday. The Education Committee OK’d the measure (HB 31) by state Rep. Ross Spano, a Dover Republican, without objection. It had been cleared earlier by the Education Appropriations Subcommittee in December during a committee week. Its main provision is that it would allow schools to join the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) on a per-sport basis, rather than signing up for a full…

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Battle over high school sports looms in Legislature

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At least one legislator is trying again to change the law on the state’s oversight body for public high school athletics, including ensuring that it is revenue-neutral, among other things. State Rep. Ross Spano, a Dover Republican, has filed a bill (HB 31) for next session that tweaks state law governing the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA). This will make the fifth year in a row that lawmakers have taken on the organization, which oversees 32 male and female high-school sports, including bills last session that would have…

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