"Tim Tebow Bill" Voted Down in 2015 Texas
By Tim Day
June 1, 2015
The Tim Tebow Bill (SB 2046), which would have allowed home school students to participate in UIL extra-curricular activities at the local public school in each student's district, "died" in committee of the Texas House.
The bill had passed the Texas Senate on a 27-4 vote, but it was one vote shy of getting out of the House education committee and taken to the Texas House for a vote.
State Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, the Chairman of the House Public Education Committee, did not support the bill.
The Texas Home School Coalition (THSC), an influential statewide home school organization, supported and lobbied for the bill's passage. THSC spokesman, Tim Lambert, commented on the outcome recently, "It became clear that those who opposed the bill did so primarily because public school officials did not like it." In fact, the swing vote told THSC that he opposed the bill because his superintendents did. THSC claims that support for allowing home school students to participate in UIL continues to grow among the House as well as the Senate, evidenced by a nearly unanimous 27-4 passing Senate vote. THSC is already planning to return with this issue in the next session.
Public school officials are not the only ones who opposed this bill. Many home school groups, leaders, and families opposed the bill for various reasons. For one, it is not consistent with the language of the landmark Leeper vs. Arlington ISD (1985) case that ruled that home school families are "private schools" and should not be governed by the state of Texas. Some feel that this bill singles out home schoolers as a distinct group and would open up governmental requirements (such as testing) that home schoolers in Texas have been immune to in the past. Other objections heard by home school groups include the state usurping parental authority and the weakening of existing home school extracurricular programs and associations that have worked hard for many years to provide opportunities for home schoolers.
HSAA has not taken a position on Tebow laws. HSAA president John Manning explained, "HSAA chose not to take an official position on this bill because we feel it is the individual family's decision whether or not to support it. Regardless of the outcome, both now and in the future, HSAA will continue to provide competitive sports opportunities for the home-schooled youth in our community."
Currently, there are 27 states in the U.S. that have "Tebow-like" laws, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Florida.
About Dallas HSAA:
Home School Athletic Association (HSAA) is the largest local home school sports organization in America with 620 athletes in grades 6-12. HSAA provides competitive sports opportunities in baseball, basketball, cheer, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track & field, volleyball, and water polo. HSAA serves the Dallas/North Texas areas.