The alphabet groups have petitioned the FAA to allow training time that Sport Pilot students acquire with a CFI-S to count toward a private certificate or higher. Specifically, the Letter of Petition calls for amending 14 CFR Part 61.99 and 61.109 to "permit the instruction time received in pursuit of a sport pilot certificate to be credited toward the instruction requirements of additional certificates and ratings."
The Petition for Rulemaking submitted by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) petitions for the change governing certification of pilots, flight instructors and ground instructors.
The petition follows a Letter of Interpretation filed in 2009 by AOPA, EAA and GAMA stating that "The flight training regulation as currently written for the sport pilot certificate has created confusion among the pilot community regarding the applicability of training time received from a Sport Pilot Instructor while pursuing a sport pilot certificate."
The general mood seems to be that the argument makes sense but, as with all things government, could take years to be put into effect if it decides to rule in favor of the proposed petition for rulemaking. Follow Flying's Sport Pilot coverage at flyingmag.com/blogs/logbook.