DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Education will take the full 60 days in rendering a decision that will determine the conference affiliation of a good share of the area small schools.
IDOE legal counsel Carol Greta said Friday that she was working on a solution, and that it probably would be released Tuesday.
That will be 60 days from the March 28 hearing, in which Greta heard a proposal from a mediation team that included Mike Dick of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and David Anderson from the Iowa High School Athletic Association.
In that proposal, the following changes to area leagues would be made, in time for the 2013-14 school year:
* The Big East Conference would fold. The three largest schools (Bellevue, Camanche and Northeast) would go to a new, yet-to-be-named league. The others (Bellevue Marquette, Calamus-Wheatland, Clinton Prince of Peace, Midland and Preston) would move into an expanded Tri-Rivers, which already has taken Lisbon for 2013-14.
* Cedar Valley Christian would join the Tri-Rivers.
* The new conference would become a seven-school league by taking North Cedar out of the Cedar Valley Conference, Anamosa out of the Wamac, and Monticello and Cascade out of the Tri-Rivers Conference.
Greta overturned the mediation team’s proposal on Anamosa, keeping that school in the Wamac Conference.
In the meantime, Tri-Rivers member Edgewood-Colesburg has applied (and received acceptance) into the Upper Iowa Conference, a league that already has taken Starmont for the 2013-14 school year. It has not been determined whether Ed-Co’s move will be allowed.
Tri-Rivers schools East Buchanan, Maquoketa Valley and North Linn also have been in touch with the UIC and have discussed the expansion with the Upper Iowa to 16 schools.
The North Iowa Cedar League has approached Wamac member Waterloo Columbus, and athletics director Aundra Meeks said that Columbus was willing to listen.
Josh Johnson, AD at Union, said in February that the LaPorte City-based school might be interested in Wamac membership should an opening develop.
Greta will make a proposal; the final decision will be made by IDOE Jason Glass.
HOW WE GOT HERE
Feb. 21 meeting: Mediation team reveals recommendation, HERE
March 28 hearing: Anamosa stays in Wamac, HERE
Linder’s March 29 column with a solution, HERE
April 5: East Buchanan, Maquoketa Valley and North Linn in talks with UIC, HERE
April 9: Carol Greta says it will be a while before a decision is rendered, HERE