If you’ve already contacted Governor McAuliffe regarding the “Tebow Bill,” thank you! If you have not, time is running out! Governor McAuliffe must act on the bill by this Sunday, March 29. The legislation would assist home school students in participating in public school sports.This is the first time the bill has passed the General Assembly after more than a decade of trying! Please click here to contact Governor McAuliffe and urge him to sign HB 1626 (Tebow Bill)!
The home school sports bill, patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville) and co-patroned by Delegate David Ramadan (R-87, Dulles), would break down barriers that prevent home school students from playing public high school sports by prohibiting localities from joining the Virginia High School League (VHSL), a pseudo-state/private entity that regulates public school sports. VHSL currently discriminates against home school students by denying them access to high school programs. Under the provisions of the measure, localities would not be able to contract with VHSL if they don’t allow home school students to participate. Half the states in the nation have some type of measure that provides opportunities to home school students to try out for public school sports. The bill would allow local school boards to determine eligibility requirements and even choose to prohibit participation. However, several counties have expressed their desire to be open to home school students.
More than 70 percent of Virginians support equality for home school students, and the proposal is endorsed by the Washington Post
Under the bill, no home school student is guaranteed an opportunity on a team. They are simply given the opportunity to try out. After years of angst over the proposal in other states, once passed, the fears of the education establishment have largely disappeared. In Florida, the executive director of that state’s high school sports league said, “There was great opposition; principals felt like if my school is not good enough for you, why should my athletics be good enough? Now everybody’s pretty much accepting of it. We had a big fuss over not much.”
The children of families who pay taxes that support the local public schools and are part of our communities continue to be denied the ability to try out for an activity that they are funding for the simple reason that they are home schooled. This discriminatory practice must end.