Alabama State Senator McGill worked persistently to get the “Tebow Bill” into law, but needs more time to gain needed support.
Sports for home schoolers stalls in Ala. Senate
The Associated Press
The Senate met into the early morning hours Wednesday debating the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Shadrack McGill of Woodville. The bill failed 10-21 about 3 a.m. Then Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, moved to reconsider the vote and carry that over. Marsh said the procedural move gives McGill time to try to garner more support, but he said he doubted that would happen.
Alabama’s 13 WVTM also covered the issue.
Alabama Senator pushing bill to allow home schooled students to participate in extracurricular activities
By Ashley Roberts
McGill tells Alabama’s 13 that he plans to reintroduce bill before the end of the legislative session, which could be as early as May 9. “We actually discriminate against home schoolers when we require them to pay same taxes, but don’t give them the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities which their tax dollars fund,” said McGill.
WVTM also reports this regarding opposition to the Tebow Bill – “Democratic Senator Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham said the bill would destroy public school athletics.”
Alabama’s Political Reporter gave a rundown of the post-midnight “night shift” hours:
Senate Works the Nightshift By Brandon Moseley
Senator Tom Whatley (R) from Lee County said on Twitter, “Senate goes back into session at 12:01 am – working all night!” “The Senate is debating the “Tim Tebow” at 1230 am, things get chippy around here this time of day.” Sen. Cam Ward (R) from Alabaster said on Twitter, “AL Senate STILL in session. Now debating the Tim Tebow bill. This is time of session when nerves get raw.” A motion to table the legislation was defeated after 1:00 am 12 to 12. After 2:00 am Sen. Slade Blackwell (R) from Mountain Brook said on Twitter, “Wow. We are still in session?” Despite the late hour, Senator Rodger Smitherman (D) from Birmingham continued to lead a filibuster of the Tim Tebow Bill. At 2:51 am the Republicans successfully passed a cloture vote to cut off debate. The Tim Tebow Bill however was defeated after 3:00 am on a 10-21 vote. If passed the legislation would have allowed students who are homeschooled to participate in extracurricular activities at the school that they are zoned too, but do not otherwise attend. Proponents point out that homeschool families are forced to pay taxes for public schools they do not use and feel that homeschool kids should be allowed to play for their local football, baseball, softball, wrestling, volleyball, cheerleading teams, etc. as well as activities like choir, art, and band. Opponents worry that allowing such participation would only encourage more people to home school and claim that homeschoolers should enroll their children in the public school if they want to participate in any sport or activities there. Florida has had similar legislation for over a decade. The most famous participant was Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. His mom taught him at home and he still played High School football. That arrangement is forbidden currently under Alabama law. The Senate then recessed until 2:00 pm.