Proposed Texas Law Would Allow Home School Students to Participate in Public School Sports
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) makes the rules when it comes to public school athletics in Texas, and their current policy requires student-athletes to be full-time students at the school they represent. That bars homeschooled kids from participating in public school sports.
One Texas lawmaker wants to put an end to that policy and encourage homeschooled children to get involved in athletics.
Earlier this month, Representative James Frank introduced House Bill 1324, which would outline standards for home-schooled students’ participation in public school athletics.
These students would be held to the same academic and health/medical standards as public school participants. If the bill becomes law, it would take effect in the 2019-2020 school year.
Dr. Rachel Coleman, executive director of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), a national nonprofit organization that advocates for homeschooled children, knows there are critics who'd argue such a measure would take opportunities and spaces away from public school children. However, she argues, the evidence refutes such an argument.
“In a 2012 survey," she wrote in an email to KTEM 1400, "state athletic associations that allow homeschooled students to compete on public school teams reported that this policy had not created problems for them. Further, research suggests that homeschooled students tend to gravitate toward activities without a limit on participants, such as cross country running or tennis.”
Currently, 30 states grant homeschooled students access to public school athletics programs.
“Granting homeschooled children access to public school athletics improves homeschool outcomes,” wrote Coleman. “We urge Texas lawmakers to support the state’s homeschooled students by supporting HB 1324.”
What do you think? Should home-schooled students be allowed to participate in public school athletic programs?