HB-375 proposes an amendment that would allow home schooled students in Virginia to participate in interscholastic sports programs.  The bill was first introduced including non-athletic programs such as forensics, but was amended to include only sports programs.

          While I admit not knowing too much about the process, I would say that my first reaction is that passing HB-375 would be a good thing.  As a parent who is heavily considering home school, I still contribute to taxes that fund public schools.  If my children’s academic performances are held to the same standards as those in public schools who participate in the sports programs, I don’t see any reason my children should be excluded. 

          As the bill is currently written, there are no provisions for academic standards and many educators oppose the bill for that reason – they feel that allowing home schooled children to participate without being held to the same attendance and academic performance standards is unfair and demeaning to the children who are making the required grades and keeping their attendance records in good standing.  They also argue that having never built relationships with home schooled students, they have not had a fair chance to lay the foundation for team work, discipline, leadership, and other qualities they feel necessary to build a strong, cohesive team.

          On the other side of the fence, Home Educators Association of Virginia is claiming that Virginia already treats home schooled students as second class citizens and that approving this bill would further that treatment.  They argue that as home schooling parents contribute tax dollars to the public school system, their children should still be allowed to participate in the public interscholastic sports programs.

          Other home schooling bloggers are also voicing their views, including ways to make your voice heard and a list of delegates to contact.

         Either way, this may affect you and/or your children, so it’s worth a second look.   

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