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I am writing in regards to the two new wrestling coaches hired at Lewiston-Porter High School. As vice president of the New York State School Boards Association and area director representing 56 school districts in Western New York, I have seen the soul-searching that boards, superintendents and communities experience when dealing with such difficult issues.

However, New York State law clearly says that any certified teacher who applies for a coaching position must be appointed to that post. A school board may hire coaches without teacher certification only if no certified physical education teachers or certified teachers with coaching experience apply.

This is a mandate, and the board must follow the law. Rulings of the New York State commissioner of education have repeatedly upheld this principle on appeals, regardless of factors such as experience and win-loss records of coaches.

ALISON HYDE New York State
School Boards Association
East Aurora

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