Opinions across the spectrum concerning the proposed legislation are reflected in the article:
- Opelika-Auburn News, Opelika, Alabama, 3 February 2006, Bills propose giving homeschoolers access
Some local homeschool parents and church school administrators say they donâ€™t see a need to have access to public school programs.
But Royal said she supports making access to public school extracurricular programs available, too.
â€œI think it would be nice if they offered it,â€ she said. Christian agreed, saying that even though she doesnâ€™t see a need for the equal access to extracurricular activities bills, it would provide an option for homeschool parents.
For Hamby, who has homeschooled her six children for 13 years, having the opportunity to let her seventh-grade son play on a football team is a welcome option.
â€œI have a son that really wants to play football, and I pay taxes,â€ she said.
The School Superintendents of Alabama association opposes the equal access to extracurricular activities bills.
The organization has a official position against any program â€œthat allows parents and their children to selectively choose part of the public school system in order to participate,â€ said Auburn City Schools Superintendent Dr. Terry Jenkins, who is SSA president.
The text for the bills may be found by searching the Alabama Legislation Information System OnlineÂ for hb20 or sb312.
- Existing law does not permit a child instructed by a private tutor or students of private schools or church schools to participate in extracurricular activities offered by public schools. This bill would provide for the Equal Access to Extracurricular Activities Act for the purpose of allowing students of all types of school choices to participate in athletics and fine art classes.
This bill would permit children instructed by a private tutor to participate in such extracurricular activities, including athletics and athletics teams, music, art, and drama. This bill would also allow students in private schools or church schools to participate in public school extracurricular activities, if the activity is not offered in the applicable private school or church school.
This bill would require participating students to adhere to the same requirements as public school students concerning activity fees; standards of behavior, responsibility, performance, and conduct; and academic standards.
This bill would also specify that no public school team utilizing these students would be impeded from competing against any other public, private, or church school team.
Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose.
The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621. However, the bill does not require approval of a local governmental entity or enactment by a 2/3 vote to become effective because it comes within one of the specified exceptions contained in Amendment 621.