Tuesday, February 7, 2012

“Tebow Bill” Scores Big

No pun intended, but I’m a big fan of the so-called “Tebow Bill” which would allow homeschooled children to play on the teams of the schools in their school district.

It’s a common sense bill, and I’m glad to see that Delegates Bob Bell, Randy Minchew and David Ramadan are leading the effort to get it through the General Assembly.  At last look, the bill, HB 947, had cleared the House Education committee and had been read a second time.

Read a bit more broadly, the bill is not just about participation in sports.  Yes, it allows homeschooled kids to participate in more competitive leagues, but, more importantly, it allows them to interact more with their peers and build social skills.  Remember, it’s not the kids who made the decision to be homeschooled.

I am mindful of the potential for abuse – it is obviously difficult to determine whether a homeschooled child is meeting the academic requirements for participation.  One way of addressing that concern, however, is to allow homeschooled athletes to participate only if they did not begin the academic year at the school.  That guardrail would keep kids from dropping out of school to avoid bad grades that would keep them from playing.  It’s not perfect, but anything is far better than the current system.

At a minimum, we should give it chance and see how it all plays out.

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