In late January, Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) filed S.B. No. 640 and Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) filed H.B. No. 1323 called the "Tebow Bill," which aims to give privileges concerning sports programs to homeschool families.
The "Tebow Bill" was first introduced on Jan. 2 by Republican delegate Rob Bell who comes from Charlottesville, Virginia. On Jan. 24, the legislation passed with flying colors in the Virginia House of Delegates with a 60-38 vote. The legislation also passed when it reached the Virginia Senate on Jan. 30 with a 22-18 vote.
The bill is named after former NFL quarterback star Tim Tebow who was given an opportunity to play in a Florida-based high school while he was homeschooled. Passing the legislation has been Bell's earnest intention for the past three years. He has also been trying to pass similar legislations since 2005.
One of the most important sections of the legislation states that, "No public school shall become a member of any organization or entity whose purpose is to regulate or govern interscholastic programs."
"If you are a parent and your kid doesn't fit into the public school curriculum right now, you can go private or you can go homeschooling, except many places, including a county I represent, have very limited private school options," Bell told Associated Press in an interview.
The same source also mentioned that Bell's 2015 and 2016 bills were vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "Opening participation in those competitions to individuals who are not required to satisfy the same criteria upends Virginia's extracurricular framework and codifies academic inequality in interscholastic competition," Gov. McAuliffe clarified in his veto statement.
Moreover, Democrat Sen. Chap Petersen (Fairfax) believes that the bill appears to be unfair for students who are already actively participating in their high school sports programs. "I played high school athletics. I know a little bit about it," Petersen explained. "I know you have to have a certain GPA to play on Friday nights. I know you had to basically comply with classroom conduct rules in order to play, and I think those are good rules. They're good rules for kids, and that's what this is about," he said.
With Texas coming into the picture to push for the "Tebow Bill" anew, various opinions regarding its provisions are surfacing once again. Should the bill be passed in Texas, some 350,000 students will greatly benefit from it.
"The home-school parents pay their taxes, and they should have the right to be able to access the University Interscholastic system to give their children a great educational opportunity and experience," Van Taylor explained in a My Fox Zone article.