City School board to vote on academic requirements for student athletes

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The Baltimore city school board is scheduled to vote on a proposed policy today that will require all student athletes to maintain a 2.0 grade-point-average beginning next school year.

The new academic policy, which will set the first minimum grade-point-average for city students, is a revised version of a proposal brought before the board last month that had a lower GPA requirement.


The earlier draft of the policy had called for "staggered implementation" of the requirements, starting with a 1.75 next year and a 2.0 in 2018.

Critics, including some school board members, said that "C-" average was unacceptably low. They argued that students wouldn't be able to get into college, let alone qualify for the NCAA, which has a 2.3 GPA requirement.


School officials said they believed a phase-in of the more stringent requirement would allow students to adjust to the new standards without penalizing them.

The new policy would also maintain the requirement that athletes have no more than one failing grade —which is the current policy that will remain in place this school year.

The proposal would make the district one of the last in the state to set a minimum GPA for student athletes.

The General Assembly approved legislation in 2011 requiring the Department of Education to set a statewide minimum standard. The Department of Education recommended that local districts set that standard at 2.0 or a C. Most school district complied.