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WIAA members send multiplier proposal to ad-hoc committee

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- WIAA members today voted 352-77 in favor of a motion that will send the controversial multiplier proposal to an ad-hoc committee for further discussion.

The proposal would add a multiplier to the enrollment of non-public schools to determine tournament placement. The multiplier in the initial proposal was set at 1.65.

An open forum was held prior to the vote, and members from both sides spoke. Many of those who spoke said more discussion was needed before a final decision was made.

Since the WIAA extended an invitation to non-public schools in 2000, it has treated public and private schools equally when it comes to tournament placement.

The proposal could mean non-public schools would play 'up' a division.

The argument is that private schools have a competitive advantage over public schools because they can enroll students from anywhere in the state.

But some say it will end up hurting some schools in the process.

WIAA board members have said they are firmly against the idea but say they're open to discussing the idea of creating more fair competition.

"I have very grave concerns about the multiplier. We have seen in other states the affect of the multiplier is that it hasn't worked or hasn't accomplished all of its aims. In a couple of instances, they have simply done away with the multiplier altogether," said WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson.

So far, nearly 80 school districts out of more than 500 in Wisconsin have signed the multiplier petition. That equates to a 15 percent approval rating. WIAA officials say only 10 percent is needed to bring the issue to their annual meeting. Several states, including Illinois, currently have enrollment multipliers in place. 

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