Here’s a Legislative Update from the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (VaHomeschoolers)
House Subcommittee Votes 7-1 to Approve Sports Access Bill
HB 1442, patroned by Del. Robert Bell (R-Albemarle), addresses public school sports and interscholastic activities access for homeschooled high school students. The House Education Subcommittee on Students and Early Education amended the bill to include a sunset provision which would discontinue the provisions of the bill in June 2018 unless further action is taken. HB 1442, as amended, passed the subcommittee by a vote of 7-1 (as compared with a vote of 6-2 for a similar bill in 2012).
The Senate Committee also had a companion bill to HB 1442 – SB 812. The Senate bill was scheduled for hearing in the Senate Education and Health Committee this morning. It was delayed by the sponsor to help ensure success. (Last year’s bill failed by one vote.) The House bill should be considered by the full House Education committee next Monday and the Senate bill might be heard a week from today on January 31.
As often happens with homeschool-related bills, the homeschooled kids were seen and heard. From the Legislative Update:
We were proud to introduce to legislators our two young Legislative Interns, Sydney Bowman (age 12) and Micah Fitz (14), who testified about why sports access matters to them.
Amy Wilson also offered lobbying information to families wishing to attend and participate in these hearings:
One of the primary arguments in favor of the bill is the benefit that it could extend to homeschooled students, so an audience full of families in favor of the bill will definitely make an impression on legislators. There will also be an opportunity for a few students to testify, though we expect testimony to be limited due to time constraints. If your child would like to testify, please help him or her prepare a written statement about the personal impact that homeschool sports access could have. Help your child practice reading the statement with a strong, clear voice and use a timer to be sure it is no longer than one minute.
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