Senate Democrats Defeat 'Tebow Bill' in Committee
Bill would have forced public schools to allow home-schooled students to participate in athletics
RICHMOND, VA – This morning, the Senate Committee on Education & Health voted 9-6 to defeat a so-called "Tebow bill" that would have effectively forced public school districts to allow home school students to participate in their athletics programs. The vote took place along party lines, with all Democrats opposing the bill.
HB 63, patroned by Del. Robert Bell (R – Albemarle), would prohibit public schools from participating in interscholastic programs that do not allow home school students who meet certain criteria to participate.
"It is not fair that a home schooled student would not have to meet all of the same eligibility requirements to play sports that a public school student has to meet,” said Sen. John Miller (D – Newport News). “There are nearly two dozen privately run organizations across the Commonwealth that give home-schoolers the opportunity to play high school level sports in addition to rec, club and traveling teams."
Said Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Saslaw (D – Fairfax), “It ‘s true that home school families pay taxes that fund our public schools, but that doesn’t mean they’re automatically entitled to use those schools. Your tax dollars pay for a B-1 bomber or fire trucks, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to hop in and ride it.”
Representatives from at least half a dozen outside groups appeared to testify in favor of the bill, including the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia High School League, and the Virginia School Boards Association.