Should Virginia Pass the “Tim Tebow Law” for Homeschooled Kids?

The good folks of Virginia are moving forward with legislation that would allow students who are homeschooled to play for sports teams belonging to their local schools.

Taking their cue from a Florida law known as the “Tim Tebow Law,” Virginia legislators are hoping to give homeschooled kids the same opportunity that gave Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow a chance to play for local and private schools en route to the University of Florida and, eventually, NFL. The law that granted Tebow permission to follow that path in Florida was passed back in 1996.

Currently, as noted by the Washington Post, there are three bills in the Virginia legislature that are modeled after that specific Florida law. Even though legislation similar to this has failed in years past, Republican control in the Virginia governorship, general assembly and senate has given it new life.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone is behind the "Tim Tebow Law." Per the Post:

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents is opposed, as is the Virginia Education Association, which represents more than 60,000 public school teachers. Another foe is the chairman of the House Education Committee, a Republican from Virginia Beach named Robert Tata, who was a successful high school coach and a University of Virginia athlete who played briefly for the NFL’s Detroit Lions, the Associated Press reported.

Tata opposes allowing homeschooled students to play on local sports teams in part because he worries that coaches will game the system by recruiting top players. Other opponents say that allowing homeschoolers to play for local teams would devastate eligibility and participation requirements and would be unfair to full-time students and teachers.

According to the most recent available home-schooling data (via the U.S. Education Department), approximately 1.5 million American children were home-schooled in 2007.

What do you think: should kids who are homeschooled be permitted to play for their local sports teams at nearby schools?

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My son is in the process of being home bound.I think its wonderful to give these kids opportunities of having a normal life.The schools here in Tenn.,actually send a teacher to the home.and for the record."Tim Tebow,as you can see,reads just fine".

@Christopher Fowler

I agree 100% with your post. It's like these communist parents want their cake (to not have public schools teach their kids) and eat it too (but have their kids partake in the after school extracurricular activities, that is funded by the state and supported by the schools).

Honestly, when you really think about it, it's extraordinarily arrogant and wreaks of "Holier than Thou" far right extremist who is afraid that public schools will indoctrinate their child with "liberal filth", yet there is a growing number of states (see TX and TN) who want to remove slavery from books (another opposing view article on this site) and remove any negative things rich, whites did against slaves!

Pot meet kettle.

Correct me if I am wrong here, but I heard somewhere that the government is funded by taxpayers. Correct me if I am wrong on this as well, home schooling parents still have to pay taxes to fund public schools even if their children do not attend them.

As to your last paragraph, I asked my 5th grader this morning what color slaves were, and she said black. I then asked her what color slave owners were, and she said white. You should have seen her face when she learned that blacks owned slaves to work for them as well. I tried to show it to her in her social studies book, but that part was mysteriously missing. I guess white guilt over slavery kinda loses its umph when you teach children everything.

I don't follow anyone, because those that appear to be on the same path usually end up just getting in my way.

Whites had white slaves, too. Ever heard of an indentured servant? But they don't teach that in the PC world that has taken over our school system.

Parents that homeschool their children can opt out of the taxes that go to the schools; almost all of them do. The big problem with homeschoolers is that over 95% of them do it for the reason of their Christo-fascist beliefs and don't think that teaching the truth about this nation's secular founding is offensive. Too bad for them. We will see how they fare, in the sciences, higher math, English and history against children with good educations from accredited schools.

Those who surrender essential liberties for temporary security deserve neither and lose both. - Benjamin Franklin

@Raptorcat.I learned about "indentured servants" in grade school, how do you explain that.


You will have to provide a link for the tax deferment regarding home schooling because I've never seen that. In fact, I did a quick refresher just to see if I had missed something new and was reminded that home schooling parents can't even deduct the ADDITIONAL amount they pay to educate their children at home. If there were such a deferment of taxes to educate your children at home, this would be the avenue that school voucher supporters would use to address the issue. Its not government money educating our children in religious schools, its our own taxes taken from us to educate our children. Its a wonderful idea though.

Even with the few states that allow for a partial tax break on home schooling supplies, that still doesn't refund the taxes that parents pay to fund public schools. They still have to pay twice to get their child educated even though the government says this is an acceptable education.

My wife and her siblings attended a christian school and I've considered it for my own children. My inlaws, my wife and I, nor those that I know that currently send their children to christian schools or home school did/do so because of the public school teaching children that our nation isn't a christian nation. I personally don't believe it is nor ever was one. They send them because of the permissive nature of public schools regarding behavior and the liberal teaching on some social issues. There is also the issue of the chaotic nature of many large public schools as well. They are no more fascist than you are if you tell your children that it is wrong to call black people a bad name and punish them when they do it anyway. You just don't happent to agree with what and why some parents tell their children that its not right to do certain things.

An indentured servant is different than a slave. The indentured servant agreed to receive something in exchange for his servitude and that debt will eventually be paid of according to the agreement. Black slaves were simply snached from their homes or born into it with no agreement involved. I get your point on PC though.

Don't forget that there are many unaccredited public schools out there that are the reason for parents sending their children to private school or home schooling. Some states have such low accreditaion standards that many of their public schools would be deemed unaccredited in other states.

I don't follow anyone, because those that appear to be on the same path usually end up just getting in my way.

@ shawninMo.Did you know that in most states religious school teaches do not need any qualifications to teach!

Must make for a quality education.

No wonder the south is behind the rest of the country in education.


Some private schools require their teachers to be certified and some don't. Unlike sending your children to public school, you have the option of shopping around until you find what you want in a private school.

There are deficiency programs for public school teachers to teach for three years without being certified. With almost 25% of new teachers leaving teaching within the first three years and almost 50% leaving within the first five years, the constant need for so many new teachers means there's a pretty good chance that your student in public school has at least one teacher who isn't state certified. It's bound to get even better as baby boomer teachers, reported to make up between ? and ? of current teachers, approach retirement.

As far as qualifications are concerned, the National Center for Educational Statistics reported that somewhere between ? and ? of inner city school teachers teaching math in secondary schools don't even have a college minor in the subject. How's that for not being qualified? Science teacher shortages are on par with those of math teachers. I hope that doesn't lead to unqualified people teaching that as well. Imagine how many creationists could come out of that perfect storm.

I don't follow anyone, because those that appear to be on the same path usually end up just getting in my way.

In Michigan, what you describe is not the case:,1607,7-140-6530_5683_14795---,00.html

This includes poor urban areas like Detroit. The problem varies greatly by state. The Northeast in general (MA,NH,etc.) has the best performing schools in the country, and this is reflected by the standards they apply to teachers.

You are right that attrition and turnover are the problems in teaching in general and they are greatest in the roughest school districts. This hurts students.

Being able to shop around for private schools is pretty much an impossibility for most people who are not wealthy. Almost every area has a few possible choices, but the top end schools are usually priced too high for people in troubled districts and many of the private schools may not be in a christian denomination with which your family is comfortable. My wife and chose our community because of the schools, knowing we could not afford to send our large family to an expensive private school somewhere else. We had the luxury of being able to do this, while other families do not.

I work with education data on a daily basis. What we need are some significant reforms like better pay for outstanding teachers as measured objectively with things like student growth, no tenure, hazard pay for working in troubled districts, better family involvement in the education process (one the highest predictors of success), etc. None of the answers are simple and not all the recommendations out there are valid.

Regardless of what we change in public education, the worst performing students typically have family or environmental issues that affect performance, and traditional approaches to educational needs do not address these sorts of problems. These kids will never attend private school or charter schools, which means we must figure out how to help them or we will continue to have generations of kids that are written off year after year after year.