House Education Committee Hearing on Monday, 1/28 at 8:30 a.m.
By Amy Wilson, VaHomeschoolers Government Affairs Director
The House Education Committee has released its agenda for Monday, January 28, and HB 1442, Del. Rob Bell’s (R-Albemarle) homeschool sports access bill, is included, as we expected. The time for the hearing has been moved up to 8:30 a.m. – half an hour earlier than the usual time. Homeschoolers who plan to attend should try to be there early to find a seat, and so that we can identify any students who would like to testify.
The hearing will be in House Room C of the General Assembly Building, on the corner of 9th and Broad Streets. There are two parking garages nearby along North 8th Street, between East Grace Street and East Franklin Street.
Constituents, Please Contact Committee Members!
If you cannot attend the hearing – and even if you can – please be sure to contact your delegate if he or she is a member of the committee. First, identify your delegate using the General Assembly’s Who’s My Legislator Service. Then, check to see if he or she is a member of the House Education Committee (listed below). If your delegate is on the committee, please email this evening or over the weekend to ask him or her to vote YES on HB 1442. Remember, the hearing is on Monday morning at 8:30, so we need to be sure constituents contact committee members before then.
Email is the best way to reach your delegate before Monday’s hearing, since legislative offices are closed over the weekend. A clear subject line, such as “Please vote YES on HB 1442 on Monday, 1/28!” will ensure that your delegate’s staff notices that your message is urgent for Monday morning.
Here are three important points you may want to mention (restating in your own words will mean more than copying and pasting):
- HB 1442 allows local school boards set their own policies regarding homeschool sports access.
- Poll results released this week by Virginia Commonwealth University show that more than 2/3 of Virginians favor allowing homeschooled students to try out for public school teams.
- The bill would only allow homeschoolers to try out at the school assigned for their attendance zone. “School shopping” would not be possible.
Ask Your Friends and Neighbors
Every single call or email our legislators get makes an impact. They literally tally the “YES” and “NO” messages they receive, and this factors into their voting. Please ask your neighbor, friend, or family member to call or email before Monday if they are a constituent of one of the committee members. If legislators hear from non-homeschoolers who are in favor of this bill, that will also make an impact.
House Education Committee Members
* Del. Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach), Chair
Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Richmond)
* Voted NO on homeschool sports access in 2012.
Please email VaHomeschoolers Government Affairs Director, Amy Wilson if you plan to attend the hearing on Monday. That way we will be able to reach you with any important information (such as last-minute schedule changes.)
To Learn More
Visit our new Homeschool Sports Access web page! Read our position statement on the bills, peruse our press releases, find out how sports access works for homeschoolers in other states, and learn more about what VaHomeschoolers is doing to help create access for Virginia’s homeschooling students to public school sports and activities.
If you have any questions or concerns about this legislation, or any other legislative issue, please contact VaHomeschoolers’ Director of Government Affairs, Amy Wilson.