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Proposed bills would allow school districts to decide to play fall sports, give students extra year of school & eligibility to play

The PIAA has currently delayed fall sports for two weeks as it considers Gov. Wolf's recommendation to not play sports until January 1st.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Republican state lawmakers unveiled legislation Tuesday to ensure kids can participate in sports and extracurricular activities, and also not miss out on a year of playing.

Getting out on the field or taking part in an extracurricular activity is exactly what State Reps. Mike Reese and Jesse Topper are pushing for this upcoming school year.

 "We need to find a way to let them play," said Rep. Reese. He introduced HB 2787 to allow school sports and extracurricular activities to happen. 

RELATED: Gov. Wolf recommends no high school sports until January 2021

"The benefits of our children participating in these activities are undeniable," said Rep. Reese. "And that's because study after study points to those who participate in extracurricular activities do better in school, have better GPA, standardized tests school, better attendance, lower drop out rates."

Rep. Topper added, "Not every county, school district or businesses encounter the same challenges with COVID-19. So, decisions on how to best mitigate the spread should be left as locally as possible at each level."

Rep. Topper introduced HB 2788 to give parents the option of an extra school year for their child for the loss of instruction or competition.

"If a family feels their child or children are not obtaining an acceptable education experience during this school year," said Rep. Topper. "Then they have the right to ask that school district for an extra school year at that grade level for that student." 

Getting kids back into sports this school year is something Governor Tom Wolf believes needs to be on the back burner and says, now is a time for Pennsylvanians to prioritize getting back to school as the number one issue. 

 "We need to get to a point where we can go back to school and then do all the other things," said Gov. Tom Wolf, "There's a difference between elective things that we do and central things, that a society needs to do. We need to get our kids back to school."

The entire news conference on the two bills introduced Tuesday can be viewed at the video below.