Frankfort– A Kentucky lawmaker is proposing legislation that would allow home-schooled students access to public school athletics.
The bill, proposed by Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, is known as the “Tim Tebow Bill,” named after former University of Florida and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who was home-schooled and allowed to play for his local high school team.
Bill Request 396 would allow home-school students to register with the local middle or high school in their district, and be subject to the same requirements as public school students to participate, including taking a physical and meeting academic requirements to be eligible. The proposal would also require the parents of a home-schooled student to transport them to and from athletic events.
The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, Rep. Tim Couch, R-Hyden, Rep. Ron Crimm, R-Louisville, House Republican Whip Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, Rep. Kenny Imes, R-Murray, Rep. Jerry T. Miller, R-Louisville, Rep. Phil Moffett, R-Louisville, and Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Burlington.
“If we truly want children in Kentucky to strive for success like Tim Tebow, then why not give parents the legal option of home schooling their children and allow their children to participate in sports in their local public school district,” Lee said.
The bill was filed last year, but did not receive a hearing. Nearly half of all U.S. states have passed the Tim Tebow Bill.
Scott Bolin, director of Christian Home Educators of Kentucky, sees growing support for the legislation, despite some reservations.
“There’s actually a lot of mixed feelings,” Bolin said. “There’s some concerns that some people have that (the bill) might cause heightened regulation on home schooling.”
Bolin attributes the growing support for the legislation to education about the bill.
“There would be benefits to the legislation for homes-schoolers, but again, there are some that are concerned about what it might do as far as regulations,” Bolin said.
Kristi Winchell, home schools her two boys in order to teach them from a “Biblical worldview.” She thinks the legislation could be beneficial.
“There’s a big hole in the home-school community as far as organized sports,” Winchell said. “If they are really good at sports, there’s really no outlet for them.” (KBC)