A Virginia Delegate, Robert Bell, wants homeschoolers to have the option of participating in public school extra-curricular activities. He’s filed HB 1442 for the 2013 Session. Governor McDonnell also supports this legislation.
VA: ‘Tebow’ homeschool sports bill gets a push from governor By Kenric Ward Watchdog.org
“The governor believes homeschool student should not be denied the opportunity to take part in these advantages if he or she meets the qualifications,” McDonnell’s press secretary Jeff Caldwell toldWatchdog.org in an e-mail Friday.
Sen. Tom Garrett, R-Louisa, filed companion legislation to Delegate Robert Bell‘s bill, which has been dubbed the “Tebow Bill.” NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who was homeschooled during his high school years in Florida, played football at a public school before going on win championships at the University of Florida.
Watchdog provided further comments from the Virginia Governor’s press secretary:
“Homeschooled students will be held to the same standard as public-school students. If there are 10 spots on the team, an 11th will not be added –students will compete on merits and talents, playing by the same rules.
“Homeschool families are members of the community and pay the same taxes as families who send their children to public schools.”
If passed, these bills would prohibit public schools from joining an organization overseeing interscholastic programs, presumably the Virginia High School League. This prohibition would occur if the group doesn’t make home instructed student’s participation possible who demonstrate evidence of progress for two consecutive academic years, is compliant with immunization requirements, is 18 years of age or younger, is not a professional in the activity, and complies with all other school rules applicable to the public school students.
Last year, a similiar proposal passed out of the Virginia House, but failed in the Senate by one vote.
NBC 12 WBBT‘s Brent Solomon reported this:
In the past the Virginia High School League has opposed the measure saying the addition of home-schoolers could make it harder for public school students to play on their own school teams. NBC 12 reached out to the league again, but hasn’t heard back yet.
Solomon also interviewed a homeschooler, Teddy Bachert, participating in the Central Virginia Home School Athletic Association.
“We play teams ranging from North Carolina to sometimes northern Virginia. We play private schools, some public schools, other home school teams,” he said.
18 year old Bachert wasn’t particularly keen on participating in public school activities and seemed content with his non-public school aligned sports participation.
NBC 12 WBBT noted the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers supports the measure. The Home Educator’s Association of Virginia group was reported as neutral concerning the proposal.
Cindy Holcomb interviewed homeschooled Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow in Home Education Magazine‘s July/August 2009 Edition.
The interest in this issue has become so intense, Tim Tebow’s accomplishments have turned into the commonly used phrase – Tim Tebow Bills.
In 2000 and pre-Tebow, Home Education Magazine columnists-Larry and Susan Kaseman laid out some concerns – Why the Question of Homeschoolers’ Playing Public School Sports Affects All Homeschoolers
Should homeschoolers be allowed to play on public school sports teams? This question is being asked around the country, especially as the number of homeschoolers of high school age increases and as homeschooling gains wider acceptance.
At first glance, having homeschoolers on public school sports teams might seem like a good idea. It would provide one more opportunity for homeschoolers, one more example of society’s acceptance of homeschooling. However, a closer look reveals that it would undermine our homeschooling freedoms. Fortunately, the vast majority of homeschoolers do not support homeschoolers’ playing public school sports, and many are opposed.
ESPN Outside the Lines 2007