Should Virginia Pass the “Tim Tebow Law” for Homeschooled Kids?

| by Alex Groberman

The good folks of Virginia are moving forward with legislation that would allow students who are homeschooled to play for sports teams belonging to their local schools.

Taking their cue from a Florida law known as the “Tim Tebow Law,” Virginia legislators are hoping to give homeschooled kids the same opportunity that gave Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow a chance to play for local and private schools en route to the University of Florida and, eventually, NFL. The law that granted Tebow permission to follow that path in Florida was passed back in 1996.

Currently, as noted by the Washington Post, there are three bills in the Virginia legislature that are modeled after that specific Florida law. Even though legislation similar to this has failed in years past, Republican control in the Virginia governorship, general assembly and senate has given it new life.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone is behind the "Tim Tebow Law." Per the Post:

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents is opposed, as is the Virginia Education Association, which represents more than 60,000 public school teachers. Another foe is the chairman of the House Education Committee, a Republican from Virginia Beach named Robert Tata, who was a successful high school coach and a University of Virginia athlete who played briefly for the NFL’s Detroit Lions, the Associated Press reported.

Tata opposes allowing homeschooled students to play on local sports teams in part because he worries that coaches will game the system by recruiting top players. Other opponents say that allowing homeschoolers to play for local teams would devastate eligibility and participation requirements and would be unfair to full-time students and teachers.

According to the most recent available home-schooling data (via the U.S. Education Department), approximately 1.5 million American children were home-schooled in 2007.

What do you think: should kids who are homeschooled be permitted to play for their local sports teams at nearby schools?

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