Virginia Governor Vetoes ‘Tebow Bill’ Which Would Have Allowed Home-School Students to Participate In Public School Sports Programs

Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., has effectively sidelined all home school athletes in the state who’d like to compete for their public high school.

For the third year in a row, McAuliffe has vetoed the so-called “Tebow bill,” which would overturn a state ban on home-school students participating in high school sports and other interscholastic activities.

McAuliffe said doing so “would disrupt the level playing field Virginia’s public schools have developed over the past century” and codify “academic inequality” because home-school students don’t satisfy the same academic criteria as public school students.

However, the Virginia bill, known as HB 1578, does require home-school students who want to compete to pass standardized tests and demonstrate “evidence of progress” in their school curriculum for at least two years. They must also meet public school immunization standards.

The Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) remains officially neutral on the bill.  Senior counsel Scott Woodruff told CBN News that the HSLDA focuses on a core mission to defend families’ rights to home school and does not take action on efforts to secure more public school rights for home school children.

Many in the home-school community are divided over the Tebow bill according to Woodruff.  Some believe it’s better to build up home-school sports associations.  Others believe that home-school athletes will suffer if they’re locked out of public school sports programs.

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Heather Sells