The ‘Tebow bill’, which was proposed legislation that would have allowed home-schooled children to play varsity sports for public school teams in Virginia, has been defeated for another year.
The bill, which was brought forward by Delegate Rob Bell, failed to pass through the Senate Education and Health Committee on a 7-8 vote Thursday in Richmond.
Those who support the bill claim that their tax dollars support the public education system, which entitles their children to participate and compete on teams sponsored by the school for sports such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball.
Those opposed to the bill feel that the sports teams for the school are there to allow the students who attend that school the opportunity to represent that school in sports, and that home-schooled students would not be held to the same standards in either academics or conduct that the regular students are held to.
The bill is nicknamed after quarterback Tim Tebow who was home-schooled in his home state of Florida before entering the University of Florida..
The Virginia High School League, the governing body that sanctions interscholastic competition in 313 Virginia high schools, is on record as being against the bill. Students who participate in VHSL sanctioned sports must meet 13 separate eligibility requirements to participate, the first of which is “be a regular bona fide student in good standing of the school which he or she represents.”
“Home schoolers and their advocates have testified that they’re not to be treated differently, they don’t expect preferential treatment, that they agree to meet the same requirements as public school students, but they have chosen a different education path and I urge you not to create a small, elite group with separate and lesser standards,” said VHSL Executive Director Ken Tilly.