The Dallas Morning News posted this article below regarding the Senate passage of the controversial “Tebow Bill” with a 3/4 vote. Many Texas homeschoolers are concerned with a bill that separates homeschoolers away from the private school protective umbrella. The legislative language gives preferential treatment to homeschoolers, which a Texan homeschool group considers trivial to the cause of public school sports participation for homeschoolers. This bill provides for homeschoolers only and does not include other private schools.
Texas Senate passes bill to allow home-school students to participate in UIL sports
The Tim Tebow Bill, which would allow home-schoolers to participate with their local public schools in UIL athletics and other activities, has passed in the Texas Senate.
Now it will be considered in the Texas House and then voted on. Both chambers of the legislature must approve it before it is signed into law.
The Senate passed it by a 21-7 vote.
DMN’s reporter Terrence Stutz posted this below on the Trailblazer blog. There has been some question as to whether opponents or proponents have the majority with these two “Tebow Bills“:
…the bill drew mild opposition from some public education groups. Some home school supporters also dislike the idea, but the Texas Home School Coalition voiced its support, rejecting the notion that it will lead to increased government regulation of home schoolers.
“While we should be vigilant to protect that freedom (now enjoyed by home schoolers), we should not allow fear to keep us from expanding the freedom of home-school students,” said Tim Lambert, president of the coalition. The bill, authored by Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, would take effect in the coming school year if the House approves it in the final month of the legislative session.
A long-time Texan homeschooler, Conroe Area Christian Home Educators (CACHE) Board Director and Northside Falcons homeschool baseball program director wrote a well-researched critique of the “Tebow Bill“. Fred Watt testified before the Texas House Public Education Committee in opposition to the “Tebow Bill” HB 1374. He pointed out several factors concerning him, including social/political implications, faulty justifications, image and legal implications (excerpt shared below).
What’s wrong with the Tebow Bill - Fred Watt
The most common objection to this bill, and in fact one that I strongly agree with, is the danger it poses to the current freedoms we enjoy as Texas homeschoolers. While I touched on this in my own testimony, I was also testifying to several other problems. Because it was not my sole focus, my own testimony dilutes the importance of this central issue.
However, a colleague in the opposition who testified after me focused almost exclusively on this theme, and did such an awesome job of laying out the case against this bill from both a historical and legal perspective, that I feel it useful to include his entire statement verbatim. Like me, Jeremy was unable to get his entire prepared statement in. However, it is now a matter of the public record and based on the reaction of some of the committee members, we can be confident that they have read the entire thing. If you don’t read anything else on this subject (including the rest of my own commentary), you owe it to yourself to read this. It is a compelling argument, highly informative and in fact very interesting. I assure you that you will be more educated on the subject after reading this.
Read all of Jeremy Blosser’s testimony in opposition to the House “Tebow Bill“. Blosser represented the 20,000 member Texas Home Educators network. This below is a troubling factor of this bill:
One of the things proponents of this bill are suggesting is that this is an equal opportunity issue and those of us that oppose it are opposing opportunity for others that does not affect us if we don’t choose to participate. This is not the case. If this were a true equal opportunity bill, it would be open to all students, and that might be something we could support. Instead it carves out opportunity for a specific group with a set definition, and that definition is what we are concerned with because we believe it would restrict opportunity those of us who home school currently have. We believe it would do this even if we choose not to take advantage of the provisions of this bill.
The Texas Homeschool Coalition will be partnering with Americans for Prosperity at a Town Hall meeting in Killeen this Saturday. The discussion will revolve around troubling CSCOPE curriculum content and the “Tebow Bill“.
While all homeschoolers seem to appreciate Tim Lambert’s and THSC‘s good work advocating for Texas homeschooling, it appears many have clear concerns about this particular piece of legislation the Texas Homeschool Coalition is lobbying for that involves public school participation.