It has been reported that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget plan includes cutting the athletic programs from Connecticut’s vocational-technical high schools (“Vo-Techs”), which are operated by the state. 16 Vo-Techs will lose their athletic programs indefinitely and 10,000 students could be affected.
Under existing CIAC rules, students at Connecticut’s Vo-Techs would be eligible to compete at their hometown high schools (similar to students at magnet schools without athletic programs). Here is the applicable rule:
Student-athlete participation at any state authorized public school of choice or any state authorized CHARTER, MAGNET, REGIONAL COOPERATIVE, INTER-DISTRICT SATELLITE SCHOOL STUDENTS: Eligibility to participate in interscholastic athletics at the sending school or school from which he/she would normally matriculate is extended to any student when the school does not provide any interscholastic athletic program.
These budget cuts eliminate athletic opportunities for students at Connecticut’s Vo-Techs. Many of these students may not be able to compete at their hometown high schools for various reasons. Unfortunately, in some cases these students were already suffering from limited athletic opportunities (see my article Friday Night Rights: CIAC Rule Leaves Out Tech School Students). It remains to be seen whether the decision to cut athletic programs at Connecticut’s Vo-Techs will stand.