Why Are Public Schools Fighting To Keep Home School Kids Off Their Teams?
I am a homeschooler trying to play sports at high levels to get into college. I’m seeing all these players that I’ve competed with for years and years and years succeeding and taking the steps that they need to to chase after their dreams and, you know, I’m sitting here frustrated, knowing that I can’t because the Tim Tebow bill didn’t pass. The Tim Tebow bill would allow home school students to participate in public schools’ sports teams. This long, ongoing issue has been split fairly down the middle throughout the country. My name is Caleb Carter, I just turned 17. So I’ve been home schooled for five years, it fit my style of learning much better and gave me more freedom with the subjects that I wanted to learn. We had established that we definitely wanted to move forward with home schooling because he was thriving in that environment. So the next problem was ‘how does he play soccer?’ It became an issue Caleb’s 9th grade year when everyone began playing with their high school team and then he didn’t have a place to play. When we first began home schooling that’s one of the questions you get asked. ‘What about sports?’ The Tim Tebow act is something in West Virginia that has been on the table and in discussions for almost a decade. It was basically a piece of legislation that allowed home schooled students, private school students access to extracurricular activities that are offered through the public school system. It actually passed both the Senate and the House a few years ago and then it was vetoed by Governor Jim Justice. There’s just not as many opportunities for to exercise those skills and to be a part of team athletics. I am the only home schooler on my travel team right now. All of the travel players that I’m playing with right now play for their school. They are training five times a week with multiple games in each week. I try to run as much as I can, I try to do as much fitness as I can but you know it’s still so much different when you’re talking about in-game. I did not play for any school or travel team in the Fall for my freshman year and that wast he longest break that I’ve ever taken, since I was four, from playing soccer. You can’t represent something that you’re not part of. So if there’s a name on your shirt, you go to that school, you’re representing that school. We try not to separate the sports perspective from the school. That if you’re a home school student you’re breaking the number one rule that says you must be enrolled in that school. I have a son, he’s a really good pitcher and he missed out on those 11th and 12th grade years of being unable to play any organized sports. So watching him grow up without that opportunity has really motivated me to be on top of things with the Tim Tebow Act. The home schoolers aren’t going to come in and take positions from public school players who deserve them. Home schoolers live in those districts, I still pay taxes for all of these schools but my child’s not allowed to go participate. Nowhere in our rulebook does tax ever come up. It never says, if you pay taxes, you get to participate. People who don’t own a car, don’t own a house, may be on some sort of subsidy, they don’t pay taxes at all, but if they come to school, they’re enrolled in that school, then they get to participate if they meet all other eligibility requirements. There’s a large number of home school students in West Virginia. That if all those kids start participating, there could be an additional cost to each county. I mean I think when we went to the virtual school, we’ve compromised. There might be people who are using virtual school and are having success with it. That doesn’t mean it’s the answer to our dilemma. I don’t know of any parent who has pursued virtual school more than one year. Are you guys familiar with the Tebow legislation for home schoolers? good. Yeah I actually have a daughter who had to go back to school just so she could play soccer. She plays softball, and so she plays with her community. Sure she does. but then when she gets to home school- Absolutely. My son pitched his last game this summer before his tenth grade year, I know, it’s heartbreaking he’s nineteen. I pay taxes on these programs and yet we aren’t allowed to participate. How old are your daughters? Thirteen and fifteen. We passed it in 2017 and Jim Justice vetoed it saying that the virtual school now was the solution. But what we’re saying is it’s not the solution it’s wasn’t the solution for 24 other states. Nice to meet you, what was your name again? I think that the home schooling parents in West Virginia overwhelmingly have the best intentions for their children. And so when we look at the course work that’s even offered through virtual school you’re asking families to sacrifice a curriculum that they’ve designed for their child specifically. I just don’t think West Virginia needs to ask us to sacrifice that. There’s a group of home school parents who don’t want anything to do with the virtual. And I think if you’re making the choice that we don’t want to be connected to the public school then it’s hard for me to say ‘okay you can’t be connected but we have to let you play athletics for, or extracurricular activities for that same public school.’ I was one of the first students to try the virtual school. I tried it my freshman year. What we were told initially was not the way the program ended up being. He ended up having to go to the school three to four times a week because they wouldn’t allow him to take even quizzes without being proctored by someone at the school closest to us. So I started my enrollment in private school part time my sophomore year. And the reason that I’m wanting a change from the private school is because they don’t get the exposure that I need to get recruited by a college. My dream college that I would go to would be Ohio State. So the only time that a coach or recruiter from Ohio State could see me is when I’m at a college camp. I don’t really know what I’m going to do about soccer next year. If the Tim Tebow bill would get passed then it would solve so many problems for me. Seventeen Republicans voted no on it this last year, and he’s not here anymore. But anwyays so these are the ones you need to work on. OK. Some of these can easily be swayed but if you look at what our vote total was, we weren’t far away last year. I’m just going to be very blunt about it: this is about money. Otherwise they wouldn’t make the virtual school argument, they would say ‘we want you in our school system.’ Right, if this passes, will the sky fall in the next two years? Will we see this influx, this crazy the SSAC can’t handle what’s going on? No you’re actually going to see a small percentage, I mean very small percentage, and even then that small percentage are just going to be the people trying out. We as the SSAC and our member schools and the home school community need to work to resolve this. You know this needs to be resolved by us, the parties that are involved. If we have to go back to the legislature, it’s going to be a fight, a ten year fight again. I don’t know anyone who is well versed in history who says you get what you get you don’t throw a fit and thing that that is sufficient for the American culture. We’re Americans, we fight for freedoms and that’s what homeschooling parents are doing through the Tim Tebow legislation. All of the players that are on his travel team right now in the fall they go to play with their schools. Knowing his passion for the game and knowing how much time and effort he gives. And then having to watch him not be able to go out there and play and have these experiences is really heartbreaking.Tags: and, libertarian, Reason magazine, reason.com, reason.tv, reasontv, that, the