VaHomeschoolers Legislative Report – January 10, 2013

Help Pass the 2013 Sports Access Bills with YOUR Story

Yes, you read that right – Sports Access Bills (aka “Tebow Bills”) with an “s.”  The 2013 General Assembly opened yesterday, and there are bills in both the House of Delegates and the Senate aimed at making homeschool sports access a reality (so far, HB 1442 and SB 812).

Did you know that VaHomeschoolers has been working on this issue since 1997? Isn’t 17 years long enough? We think so! We’d like to see 2013 be the year that homeschooled teens in Virginia have more choices when it comes to sports and activities. Homeschoolers who were teens in 1997 are old enough to be homeschooling their own kids now!

You might choose to support these bills even if your own kids aren’t especially interested in public school sports. Maybe you just believe it’s fair for homeschooled kids to have the same opportunity to try out as their public school friends and neighbors.  Maybe you have a family member, friend, or acquaintance whose child would love just such an opportunity, and you’d like to support them.

There are things you can do to help NOW, even before a single hearing is scheduled for these bills:

1.  Tell us your story! Take a few minutes to send an email to tell us why you would like to see this year’s “Tebow Bills” become law. Or let your teen tell us in their own words why this matters to them or their friends. Send a photo if you have one! We’d love to share these stories on our website with legislators, the media, and the general public, so they can understand why this issue matters to kids in Virginia. (You can request that we use a pseudonym to protect your privacy, if desired.)

2. Talk to a reporter! We get lots of calls and emails from reporters all over Virginia (and beyond) who want to include “human interest” in their stories on this topic. If you or your teen would be willing to talk or email with a reporter, let us know, and your story could help!

3. Plan a trip to Richmond! There are no hearings scheduled yet (we’ll tell you when there are), but you can start thinking now about coming to the General Assembly later in January or February. Observing our government in action is an educational field trip for kids of all ages – maybe you’d even like to plan to carpool with friends! 

4. Get ready to speak out! If your child would like to, he or she can prepare a very short statement to read in support of the bill (1 minute or less). Our kids’ stories make the biggest impact on legislators at hearings! Even elementary-age kids have testified to explain why they want to be able to play sports when they are homeschooled teens.

5. Share this information! Forward it to a friend, family member, or local homeschooling group. If these bills are to pass this year, homeschoolers and their friends will need to take a very active role in supporting them.

If you have questions or comments on this or any other legislative issue, please contact:

VaHomeschoolers Government Affairs Director, Amy Wilson

 

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