IHSA denies waiver to allow CPS athletics

CHICAGO -- The Illinois High School Association’s board of directors decided Monday not to grant a waiver request by the Chicago Public Schools to allow their teams to participate in athletic contests during the ongoing teachers’ strike.

The IHSA’s by-laws do not permit schools to participate in interscholastic contests during teacher strikes. Schools can hold practices if their local school boards allow them.

The Chicago Teachers Union began their strike on Monday, forcing the closure of all the city’s public schools.

“It was the conclusion of the board that granting such a request extended beyond its authority,” IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said in a statement. “The IHSA’s by-laws are developed by and voted into practice by its member school principals, and, after some meaningful discussion, the board ultimately felt respecting the guidelines put in place by our member schools was the only option available in this situation, and any change to the by-laws would need to be facilitated through the IHSA legislative process.

“While IHSA by-law 2.140 prohibits schools that are on strike from participating in interscholastic contests, it does establish conditions under which school boards can approve practice sessions for a school that is on strike, should those local school boards wish to do so.”