Tag Archives: homeschoolers

Concerns Addressed as Optimistism Grows for Passage of ‘Tebow Bill’


Last week when I wrote about Delegate Rob Bell’s HB 1578 aka the Tebow Bill  passing the Virginia House of Delegates, some commenters had questions about allowing homeschooled student access to the public school sports programs even though homeschooling has been a legal educational choice for almost 40 years.

In that original post (see Rob Bell’s ‘Tebow Bill’ Passes the House, Now Moves to Senate), it was noted that 29 states already have a Tebow Bill in place. In fact, Florida’s legislation that allowed a youthful Tim Tebow to excel with his local high school team was passed in 1996, long before he was involved, so they have 20 years of experience working with the homeschool community. Because of Tebow’s participation, that school system can lay claim to a Heisman Trophy winner.
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The Virginian-Pilot is wrong about homeschool sports ‘entitlement’

school booksBy Lynn R. Mitchell

In 2013 Education Week reported, “Four out of five Americans believe homeschooled students should have the opportunity to participate in public school sports, according to a new poll from Gallup and Phi Delta Kappa” (see Public Supports Homeschool Students Playing Public School Sports).

Even so, the Virginian-Pilot editorialized its opposition to HB 1616, the “Tebow Bill” that passed in the 2015 Virginia General Assembly with bipartisan support and is currently waiting for Governor Terry McAuliffe’s signature. The newspaper’s primary reason for opposing is improbable (see Homeschool lobby wins special privileges) :

The latest proposal … still presents an opening for school districts to elevate success in sports ahead of enrollment in an academic community, paving the way for home-schooled students to do as Tebow did a decade ago, when he and his family shopped for a public-school football team that would accommodate his big arm.

I hate to burst the Virginian-Pilot’s bubble (well, actually, I’m happy to burst it) but very few homeschool families would feel compelled to cherry-pick a location for their children to play sports. Even fewer homeschool families could afford to go to such lengths as to move part of the family because most live frugally on one-income salaries. That argument is projecting a scare factor that just is not there.

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Dear homeschoolers, please ask Governor to support ‘Tebow Bill’

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Del. Rob Bell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The heavy lifting has been done. Delegate Rob Bell has seen to that. All that is left is for homeschoolers to email Governor Terry McAuliffe to encourage him to sign HB 1626 — the “Tebow Bill” — to allow homeschoolers to participate in sports and other competitive events such as forensics and band.

From Delegate Rob Bell:

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Rob Bell’s ‘Tebow Bill’ passes out of Senate committee

Rob Bell 3

Del. Rob Bell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Facebook post from Delegate Rob Bell shared the good news:

Tebow Bill Passes Senate Committee 8-6! (First time it has ever gotten this far!) Thanks to all the homeschoolers who came to the Capitol to testify.

After testimony from homeschool students — some barely tall enough to see over the podium — and parents from around the Commonwealth who attended the hearing in the State Capitol, the bill passed out of the Senate Education and Health Committee Thursday morning. It will now be taken up by the full Senate, possibly as soon as Monday, February 16.

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Rob Bell’s ‘Tebow Bill’ passed in House of Delegates, 57-41

Rob Bell 3By Lynn R. Mitchell

Delegate Rob Bell (R-58 Charlottesville) saw his House Bill 1626, also known as the “Tebow Bill,” passed the Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday by a vote of 57-41. That’s good news, but previous bills have made it this far only to die in the State Senate.

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Rob Bell’s ‘Tebow Bill’ goes to committee Monday a.m.

Rob Bell 3By Lynn R. Mitchell

Delegate Rob Bell’s HB 1626, commonly known as the Tebow Bill, will go before the full House Education Committee for a vote tomorrow morning, Monday, January 26, at 8:30 a.m. For those in Richmond, the hearing will be held in House Room D in the General Assembly Building and all are encouraged to come out and show support or to contact their legislators and ask them to support HB 1626.

A list of the committee members can be found here.

Information about directions and parking can be found here.

For background on the bill and its namesake Tim Tebow, see Will 10th time be charm for Rob Bell’s ‘Tebow Bill’? Many thanks to Delegate Bell for his continued effort on behalf of statewide homeschoolers.


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