Homeschoolers Could Play Public School Sports
Special Report - March 29, 2011
A bill recently filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives seeks to give home-schooled students the opportunity to participate in the athletic programs of their local public schools. The measure, HB 253Home Schoolers Participate in School Sports, is sponsored by Representatives Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin) and George Cleveland (R-Onslow). Fourteen other representatives have signed on as bill co-sponsors.
Participation would be contingent upon the following eligibility requirements for home- schooled students:
- Students must meet certain residency requirements and would only be allowed to participate at the public school where they would be assigned to attend if they were enrolled in the public school system.
- Compliance with “all rules and regulations established by the local board of education and the State Board of Education”
- Demonstrated academic progress by the student, measured “a method of evaluation agreed upon by the parent and the school principal”
- Registration of the student’s “intent to participate” prior to the “beginning date of the season for the activity in which the student wishes to participate.”
- Payment of any fees or insurance that may be required by the student’s participation in the sporting activity.
According to Spencer Mason, president of North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE), the private home school organization does not yet support HB 253 in its current form. However, while NCHE has cited concerns about the bill’s current language, Mason said that he is hopeful that the NCHE will be able to support the bill after these concerns are addressed.
HB 253 has been assigned to the House Education Committee.
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