By Christine Cooke

Testimony given by Christine Cooke on March 1, 2017, in support of HB 413 (Public School Membership in Associations) before the House Education Committee of the Utah Legislature.

Thank you, members of the committee.

I’m Christine Cooke, education policy analyst at Sutherland Institute.

Sutherland supports HB 413 because it codifies a greatly improved appeals process that had significant issues.

We believe that the same body that makes determinations about student athlete eligibility after transfers or school realignment should not be the body to which an entity appeals that decision.

It’s a central tenet of American fairness and justice.

Because the UHSAA is an arm of the State Board of Education, by law and in function, and because it receives public funds, we believe the Utah State Board of Education and this body have the right and responsibility to have oversight of these processes.

For these reasons we believe HB 413 to be good policy and we ask you to support the bill.

Thank you.

Christine Cooke works as a policy analyst for Sutherland Institute’s Center for Educational Progress. Christine has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in English Teaching and graduated from Arizona State University with a law degree. Prior to joining Sutherland Institute, Christine was an English teacher at a public junior high school and a residential treatment center. As a student attorney in the Arizona State University Juvenile Advocacy Clinic, Christine represented clients in juvenile law proceedings and taught community legal education to high school students. She worked in legal and policy research with the legal counsel for the Arizona Office of the Governor, legal counsel for Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, the Goldwater Institute, and The Heritage Foundation. Christine has made appearances on Fox-13 News and KSL’s Sunday Edition and is regularly featured in regional publications and radio shows. She currently sits on a state committee that advises the Utah State Board of Education on specific education issues. When in her home state of Arizona, she loves to spend time with her family. She also loves music, hiking, and making cookies.

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