Alabama Legislators Advance Bill Allowing Homeschoolers to Play Public School Sports

footballMONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bill allowing homeschool students to play public school sports, now sending the matter on to the Senate for a vote.

H.B. 236, also known as the “Tim Tebow Act” passed 52-43 on May 7, named after the Heisman trophy winner who was able to work his way to the NFL after his home state of Florida passed a bill allowing homeschoolers to play with public school teams.

“A student who is taught at home and is enrolled in a private school or a church school … may participate in extracurricular activities sponsored by, or engaged in by a public school system, or in a nonpublic school, if the nonpublic school permits the student to participate at that school,” it reads in part. “The student shall register with the local board of education in the district where the student resides.”

Academic and behavior conditions are included in the legislation, requiring students to adhere to “the same standards of behavior, responsibility, performance, and code of conduct as other participants of the team or activity.” Homeschoolers must also meet “the same academic standards as other participants of the team or activity, with those standards confirmed by appropriate documentation,” such the ACT/Explore or Plan College Readiness Test, Test of Basic Skills or Terra Nova.

If a student is unable to maintain the required academic standards, he or she is deemed ineligible to participate “until the student has successfully satisfied standards to regain eligibility that are equivalent to those imposed on other students at the same grade level.”

“I think this is good for the home-school children to have some social interaction with the public school kids, and I think it is good for the public school kids to have some social interaction with these home-school kids. I think it’s good for all the children,” Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison) told the Associated Press.

But some opposed the effort, stating that as parents made the decision not to enroll in public school, they shouldn’t expect easy access to public school sports.

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“We make a choice of whether we want to attend public school or not attend. We make a choice whether to compete or not compete. To have your cake and eat it too, that’s something strange here,” Rep. Thomas Jackson (D-Thomasville) stated.

There are an estimated 23,000 homeschooled students in Alabama.

As previously reported, the Texas Senate approved a similar bill this week, also named after Tim Tebow.

“Homeschool families do an incredible job teaching their children, they pay taxes that fund these programs, and should have the same claim to participate in sports and extracurricular activities,” bill sponsor Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) told reporters.

“Extracurricular activities provide tremendous experience for children to grow and teach important life skills. I believe that every child should be offered this opportunity,” he said.

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  • Weary Warrior

    Public school gurus still don’t understand that home schooled students are often academically ahead of their public school peers, are more ethical, polite and socially well adjusted. The public schools will benefit the most from this interaction and the example set by the homeschoolers.

    • Bobby Mae

      Dont forget to add ‘socially awkward’ and ‘no interpersonal skills’ to your list.

    • uzza

      “are often”. Also, are often way behind in every area one could mention. As likely the home schooled kids would see how far ahead their teammates are and wise up.

    • The Last Trump

      Wow. The trolls around here will even attack homeschooling in defense of pornography, drug and alcohol abuse and sexual promiscuity! Never seen such a sick bunch of angry, bitter people in all my life. Always on the worst possible side of EVERY argument! Surreal.
      Liberals. The self indulgent and intolerant fascists of the 21st century.
      The demise of Western civilization can’t come soon enough. We sure earned it.

      • WorldGoneCrazy

        They are completely ignorant trolls too. They sit around in their parents’ basements playing video games and watching MSNBC, soaking up welfare, and think they are “smart.” I yearn for the a-theists of the past – at least they were accomplishing worthwhile technical achievements and you could have a conversation with them without them screaming “There is no God and I hate Him!” I gave up my a-theism at just the right time – before the low brow fascists moved in.

        Here is the scoop on homeschool performance: (just take the spaces out before the dots): http://www .hslda .org/docs/nche/000010/200410250 .asp

        Keep up the good work, Trump!

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      And here are the facts to back that up (just take the spaces out before the dots): http://www .hslda .org/docs/nche/000010/200410250 .asp

      Homeschool kids do better academically AND socially and at a far lower cost that government schooled students.

      • weasel1886

        Some do some don’t a lot depends on the kid and parents

        • WorldGoneCrazy

          If you check the data, you will see that, on average, homeschoolers do significantly better than government-schooled kids in academics (about 30 percentile, not percentage, points better) and socially. Interestingly, the education level of the homeschooling mom is not a big factor in these excellent results. This makes sense when one considers the education levels of government school teachers are not very high in general and the Education Department is often the easiest one to get into.

          • weasel1886

            First point agree second point do not

  • uzza

    How is “A student who is taught at home and is enrolled in a private school or a church school …”? a home schooled student?
    Sounds like just another way for the private school jihadists to leech off the public schools.

    • bowie1

      But don’t homeschoolers or private schools still pay education taxes? At least that’s the way it is in Canada and thus some Christian parents are paying for public schools AND christian school. Even non-parents like ourselves pay for public schools.

      • WorldGoneCrazy


    • WorldGoneCrazy

      In Alabama, my home state, homeschooled students must have a “covering,” which includes a church or private school of some sort. We cannot merely homeschool completely independently. But, there are lots of coverings available – homeschool organizations – and more and more secular families are homeschooling around the country, given the abysmal relative performance of government schools. (just take out the spaces before the dots: http://www .hslda .org/docs/nche/000010/200410250 .asp)

      My kids are all grown now, but the first family that joined our covering was Muslim (nice Muslim :-)), despite the fact that it was a Christian family running it – so it just depends on how the covering is established and run. As for leeching, we pay exactly the same taxes as the government school families do and get no services whatsoever from them. (Frankly, I don’t want any of them, but I respect the Tebow Act.) Hope this helps. God bless homeschoolers!)

      • uzza

        That makes sense I guess. By ‘private school jihadists’ I meant Michelle Rhee and her ilk, nothing to do with taxes really.
        Although, citing the HSLDA’s stats is like believing a cop’s report of a police shooting.

        • WorldGoneCrazy

          “Although, citing the HSLDA’s stats is like believing a cop’s report of a police shooting.”

          You will notice that the report I cited included secular references as well, including some from various Departments of Education. You might wonder why DOE’s do not tend to collect statistical information on homeschoolers as much now as they used to: they didn’t like the answers they were getting – the answers were making them look bad by comparison and dispelling their false preconceived notions, which they so desperately needed to maintain in order to feel that their government school systems were not failing miserably, especially amongst the poor and minorities. Based on your comments on this story, it is clear that you, too, seem to have a deep pathological need to maintain false views about homeschoolers. I would like to believe that I have educated you to a small degree, but I am really not too sure.

  • Dave L

    “….about every 25 seconds, a young athlete visits a hospital emergency room for a sports-related injury.” (USA Today). This is well over a million kids per year.

    Some question naturally develop. Is this child abuse? How does competition enhance the development of Christian character instead of weakening it? Who profits financially from school sports and are we supporting evil when we encourage them?

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      I agree with you, Dave, that sports are way overrated in America, and that many of the “lessons learned” are anything but Christian. That is why when we homeschooled our children, we encouraged them to participate primarily in homeschool and private school sports leagues where the standards of competition were generally, but not always, geared more toward fair play and sportsmanship.

      That said, the Christian walk is one of spiritual warfare. Our worldview and ideas are constantly being challenged in the public square and private spheres – and those challenges should not go unaddressed. Good healthy sports competition is a preparation for that. Paul compared our spiritual efforts to warfare, battle, running races, etc. These metaphors would be poor ones if there were no place for healthy sports activity. God bless!

  • NCOriolesFan

    I would vote no to allow any homeschooler on a public school team.

    Why can’t homeschoolers form their own league instead of imposing themselves on the public school teams? If parents chose to homeschool their children, stop crying to put your children on the public school team or send them to the public school for a chance to get on the team. Parents should accept the consequences of homeschooling their children and that means not playing on the public school team.