Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) has sidelined Virginia homeschool athletes who wish to compete for their public high school.
McAuliffe has vetoed the “Tebow Bill” for three consecutive years which would overturn a state ban on homeschoolers participating in both high school sports and other interscholastic events.
McAuliffe feels that by allowing homeschool children to participate, it would “disrupt the level playing field” the high schools have developed and would generate an academic inequality because the homeschool students don’t satisfy the same academic criteria.
The Virginia Bill (HB 1578) requires homeschool students desiring to compete to pass standardized tests demonstrating evidence of progress in their school curriculum for two years. They must also be properly immunized.
The HSLDA remains neutral on the bill. Scott Woodruff, Senior Counsel, informed CBN News that the focus of HSLDA is defending families rights to homeschool. It does not participate in efforts to obtain public school rights for homeschooled kids.
The homeschool community is divided on the bill. Some feel that more homeschool sports associations should be developed, while others feel that the athletes will suffer if they are not able to participate in sports programs at public schools.
Currently, half of the states permit homeschoolers to participate in public school sports and other school related activities.
Woodruff anticipates that Virginia will eventually pass the bill.
“It’s probably only a matter of time,” He says.
Woodruff also commented that no state that had passed the Tebow bill has motioned to repeal it.
The “Tebow bill” was nicknamed by lawmakers for the former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow. Tebow was a homeschool student in Florida who was allowed to play football for a public high school.
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