Macon Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, 21 February 2007, Bill on sports for home-schooled students under debate
ATLANTA – A bill [Senate Bill 85]
that would allow home-schooled children to join public-school sports teams sparked debate Tuesday. Proponents argued that all families pay school taxes, and opponents pointed to a myriad of potential problems that they say the change would bring.
Yes, all families pay taxes, including those adults without children. If that’s the criterion, then I’m out in the cold, as are my grown kids who aren’t parents.
The differences between the two ‘systems’ (if homeschooling can be called a system), are also in conflict.
Athletes could use the new law to circumvent the system, Swearingin said, because it would be difficult to ascertain whether home-schooled children meet the state’s no-pass, no-play grade requirements.
“We have never seen anybody fail home school,” Swearingin said.
And that’s a difference. Homeschooling parents aren’t often in the business of providing failing situations for their kids. We also don’t often pit our kids against each other to provide ‘winning teams’ for the glory of our family.
The tying of publicly-funded sports to school activities is not necessarily a ‘natural’ connection. I’m guessing that it may have something to do with our linguistic connection to England, and their affection for boarding schools. At a boarding school, all activities would be expected, which would probably include sports.
If our schools were indeed linked to the development of schooling in Germany, we probably wouldn’t have the twinning of sports and school. German kids’ sporting teams are all separate from school, as are musical activities. (I haven’t got a clue about schools in France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Liechtenstein, etc.)
Of course, whatever the influence, it’s all water under the bridge. Our system is our system, and that is what people are accustomed to. If alternate systems develop because taxpayers want to provide sport opportunities for their children regardless of where they are being schooled, an entirely different system could develop in which all the children are eligible to participate, not just those who qualify. Some communities already have this system for baseball, softball, tennis, or soccer.
posted by Valerie