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Afternoon Poll: Should Home-Schoolers Play on Public School Teams?

by Karen Goff February 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm 15 Comments

South Lakes Football/Photo by Mike Heffner, Vita ImagesHome-schoolers in Reston and other Virginia locations are closer than ever to getting the right to play for their local high school teams.

After several years of failed attempts, the Virginia General Assembly this week passed legislation to allow home-schooled students to participate in public-school sports.

The measure is commonly known as the “Tebow bill.” It is named for Tim Tebow, the former NFL quarterback who was home-schooled and allowed to play football for his local high school.

The idea has been repeatedly passed by the Republican-heavy Virginia House of Delegates in recent sessions before being killed in the state Senate.

The Senate, which flipped from Democratic to Republican control last year, approved the bill Tuesday on a 22-13 vote. The bill now heads back to the House.

However, the bill leaves it up to local school boards whether to implement the policy.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has not said whether he will sign it.

  • Mookie Taylor

    Why are people opposed to this?

    • Adrian Havill

      Sports in public schools are not just about training and then winning or losing. It is about bonding and socializing as well and if the team members don’t converse with one another in the classroom or the cafeteria it is hard to accomplish that. Tim Tebow, by the way, would have benefited from early socialization and that may be why he failed in the long run and was never popular with his NFL team mates.

  • Imhere

    Home schoolers pay taxes just like everyone else — as they should, just as single people or childless couples also should pay for the availability of public education. So there should be no controversy over home schooled kids playing public school team sports, too, for their sake and for the community’s. The more we play together, the better we can live together.

    • Rational Reston

      They can also learn together in the school then.

    • School Schooled

      So singletons should sign up for JV volleyball? Gimme a break. Homeschoolers are opting OUT. So stay OUT.

  • Rational Reston

    The public school system is not a la carte affair. One has the option to forgo the public option for the private or home school route. There is an obvious trade off though in that the extra curricular activities are not part of it, dances, plays, bands, and sports.

    It would not be hard to make the logical argument that the public school math curriculum, for example, does not meet a child’s needs, so the parents pull the student for math only.

    Sorry, it’s all or nothing. If one wishes to play sports and are not in the school, they either need to find a club option or enroll in the school.

    • Mike M

      Did you make up this set of rules in your bathtub last night?
      Can they opt out of the huge tax burden?
      And why should parents not be able to pull their kids out of a substandard math program?

      • Rational Reston

        No they can’t opt out of the tax burden because, for the large part, the school system is what creates the value of the home.
        If a child is in one of the three ‘normal’ tracks of education, public, private, or home, there are means to ensure that the minimums of curriculum are adressed (let’s not debate about the actual quality). Unless you want to pay for an humongous and incredibly inefficient means of tracking if a student is getting the right courses (either public, private or home) if a student is going the a la carte process of home schooling for some courses, private for others, and public for the remainder.

        The simple solution is that parents pick one option. If they want their child to experience the social aspects or sports aspects they should opt into an option with those.

  • JoAnne Norton

    All kids should go to public school so they can socialize. We need people to get along in this world. We have so much polarity in this world. Homeschooling seems to breed this.

    • Mike M

      Sieg Heil!

      • JoAnne Norton

        Yep, I think all kids should go to school. I think socialization with others is an important thing. Gives sense of community. What if a child stays in his own house and never gets the opportunity to broaden his social sphere? Even in tony suburbs I think a child would get a broader sense of the world from a public school and dealing with others.
        I do not like the German words you used. They were not appropriate.

        • HawkEye

          JoAnne, I can tell you have zero experience with home schooling, you have no clue on what you speak. Home schoolers get plenty of socialization through sports, music class, events with other home schoolers, the list goes on. Your assumptions of home schooling is WAY off. Home schooling is a great way to educate kids.

  • A Local

    If homeschoolers, then why not private school kids, too? Is it the community team or the school team? A school team should be composed of students attending the school.

  • Rational Reston

    When someone is in the market for a home, a critical question asked is “What school district is this?” The schools are a direct influence on the value of a home, it’s build into the “Location, location, location”.

    • Mike M

      Yes. It’s a factor for buyers with school age kids. No one who is thinking about public schools wants to go to a bad one. Because as you know, they have no choice about the schooling they get for their money.

      I’m not sure this helps your point. If they go to the local school for sports, and they pay the exorbitant taxes, . . .

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