Home School Families Split on Sports Legislation
AUSTIN, Texas — Several state lawmakers say they want to level the playing field for home-schooled athletes in Texas.
- 'Tim Tebow' Bill is SB 640
- Families divided over changes in testing requirements
- Could break up existing home-schooled teams
This week,the Senate took a key vote to pass legislation that’s become known as the Tim Tebow bill — the famed football player was home schooled, yet competed in football at a Florida public school. Now some Texas lawmakers want the same for Texas home school students.
"I just think that this is a win-win for everybody," said Republican Representative Tom Oliverson, who signed onto the House's version of the bill. "I really don't see this as being bad for the school districts. It is certainly not compulsory for the home schoolers, it's not like they have to do it."
However there doesn't appear to be a firm consensus among home schoolers when it comes to competing in the University Interscholastic League. Some say it would open up extra opportunities, but other home school parents are worried about the legislation's testing requirements.
"The problem I have is government interference and government regulation telling us what we have to do," said home school parent Nita Davidson.
Her son, Matthew Davidson, already competes in track and field for the Austin Royals, a team made up completely of home school students.
"They're just like normal track meets," the younger Davidson said. "Like any day track meets you would go to as a school."
But Matthew also worries legislation that would allow home school students to compete for public schools could break up his own team -- even though he says many of his teammates want to stick together.
"As a home schooler, I want to be on a home school team because that's my thing," Davidson said.