Tebow bill back on table in Virginia From the sidelines

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Marty Gordon

Home schoolers could soon have the opportunity to play sports at a high school in the Commonwealth. The so-called “Tebow Bill” has been approved by the Virginia House of Delegates.

Of course, this is the not the first time home schoolers received this news. Del. Rob Bell from Charlottesville has gotten it off the table several times only to have it vetoed by a Virginia governor. It’s not known if that will be the bills’ demise again this year.

I have my doubts, but things have changed over the past four years and this could be the year it becomes a reality.

The Virginia High School League currently prohibits home-schoolers from participating in high school sports after eighth grade. The change would allow individuals to play in the jurisdiction that they live.

The bill is nicknamed for Tim Tebow, who was home-schooled before he became a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at the University of Florida.

Bell said in a statement that his bill is about “opportunity,” referring to what he said are 32,000 home-schoolers across the commonwealth — some 7,200 of whom are high school-aged.

In Florida where Tebow is from, there are 7,000 total home schooled students, while only 315 individuals participated in high school sports.

The new measure here in Virginia could also give the permission to local school districts on a “trial basis,” and if it is enacted, would allow a formal decision on the matter to stretch to 2022.

There is also two stipulations that benefits the local school districts. Participants would be required to pass standardized tests for two consecutive years and have to meet immunization requirements in order to play high school sports.

School districts could also be allowed to charge home schoolers fees to cover the participation.

There are a lot of individuals that deserve the opportunity to participate in sports and other scholastic activities. With the fees, taxpayers will not have to fork out the amount for the home schoolers.

The Virginia governor needs to sign the measure and join 31 other states to allowing home schoolers to participate. I don’t believe the numbers will be drastic and, who knows, there might be another Tim Tebow in the mix.