Law may curtail high school enrollment in P.E.
December 9, 2003
By William Ferchland
Tribune staff writer
Fewer high school students will be allowed to take physical education courses at Lake Tahoe Community College come Jan. 1.
A new law will prohibit colleges from having more than 10 percent of their students from high school enrolled in a college physical education class.
The move will help avoid concurrent enrollment, where the state gives money to a high school and college for serving the same students.
Lori Gaskin, vice president of academic affairs and student services, said there are 68 high school students taking physical education courses this fall. They include South Tahoe High School, Whittell High School and home schooled students.
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“It’s all across the map,” Gaskin said. “I looked at the (class) list and there’s not one that sticks out. I was surprised. I thought we had more than 68.”
Fall quarter has 370 high school students taking academic classes. In addition, no more than 5 percent of a college’s high school population can enroll in physical education.
“Not only do I have to monitor by course, I have to monitor overall,” Gaskin said.
Only physical education courses will have the cap. Other classes like dance and English will not be affected.
The law, SB338, stems from abuse of the system by two colleges in Orange County, said Cheryl Fong, spokeswoman for the California Community College system.
The colleges would balloon classes. “Phantom classes” were created, enrollment would boost and the state would pay for the increase in students.
Gaskin said some of her colleagues at other institutions are not allowing high school students in physical education courses. LTCC will scrutinize the motives for students taking the courses. To obtain a high school diploma, students in California must complete two years of physical education.
STHS Assistant Principal Marilyn Pawling and others met with college officials last week to discuss specifics. If a STHS student wants to take a college class, approval must be given by STHS followed by LTCC.
Depending on a student’s motive, LTCC will enroll more than the cap, Gaskin said.
“We’re saying we have an obligation to our community and the law says we have the authorization to provide advanced scholastic work to K-12 students,” she said. “We’re going to allow these students into these classes. We are providing the education without any funding from the state.”
– E-mail William Ferchland at firstname.lastname@example.org.