Virginia Tebow Bill Gets Rejected For A 3rd Year, Governor Vetoes Proposal Allowing Home-Schooled Students In Public School Football

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald February 23, 04:00 am

The Tebow bill has received another rejection in Virginia. For the third year, the governor has not approved the proposal to allow home-schooled students to play in public school football or other sports.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe sidelined HB 1578, which would have overturned the state's ban on home-schooled students in high school sports. The governor said passing this bill "would disrupt the level playing field Virginia's public schools have developed over the past century," as stated on the governor's official site.

Had the bill been approved, however, home-schooled students won't be able to easily join football games. HB 1578 has provisions that would require the students to complete their immunization, as per state laws, as well as undergo standardized tests. They must also show proof of progress in their academics for two years.

The bill was authored by Del. Rob Bell, a Republican from Charlottesville. It passed the House (60-38) and the Senate (22-18), only to be vetoed at the governor's office, according to NBC 12.

Bell also passed a similar bill in 2005 to give home-schooled students the opportunity so they won't feel punished for their parents' choice of education. "[But] we're forcing parents to say, 'You can have football, or you can have the education that you want,'" Bell said regarding the ban.

Sen. Chap Petersen, a Democrat from Fairfax, opposed the bill as it would complicate the policies of the Virginia High School League, which sanctions public school sports activities. "I've got some coaches in the audience that are here for state-winning championship teams," Petersen said. "I know what they would say, not on the merits of the bill, but simply that everyone has to play by the same set of rules."

The Tebow bill was named after football star Tim Tebow who home-schooled before going to college at the University of Florida. Some 31 states have passed similar bills, while 12 are under deliberation in the current session, including Virginia, according to the Tebow bill official site.

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