What We Have Done

The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers supports homeschool access to public school programs and services and since 1997 has worked to increase access at the state and local level. We have attempted numerous times to work with VHSL and other public school organizations to develop voluntary agreements to support the inclusion of qualified homeschooled students in VHSL programs. VaHomeschoolers is the only statewide homeschooling organization that has consistently lobbied in favor of sports access legislation (“Tebow Bills”) in the Virginia General Assembly.

In both 1997 and 2007, we collaborated with VHSL and other agencies and organizations to draft new eligibility guidelines which would have permitted homeschoolers to play sports on public school teams. Unfortunately, these proposed guidelines were not accepted by the VHSL Executive Committee. Similarly, a statewide discussion group conducted in 2012 (described below) met with no changes in policy. Since 2005, VaHomeschoolers has actively lobbied in favor of bills that would allow homeschoolers access to public school sports.

On this page, you can read our Legislative Updates on homeschool sports access legislation (“Tebow Bills”) and related advocacy work and learn more about our participation in the statewide 2012 Sports Access Discussion Group hosted by the Virginia School Boards Association.

 

2012 VSBA Meetings

During the summer and fall of 2012, the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) hosted a discussion group aimed at bringing together stakeholders interested in the question of homeschooled students’ participation in public school interscholastic sports and activities at the high school level.  VaHomeschoolers was the only discussion group participant to represent the views and interests of homeschooled students and their families. Other participants included representatives of the Virginia High School League, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, the Virginia Secondary School Principals Association, and the Virginia Parent Teacher Association, as well as a number of public school principals, athletic directors, and superintendents.  The discussion group met three times, over July, September and October.

While the meetings presented a valuable opportunity to discuss practical and equitable measures by which qualified homeschoolers could demonstrate their eligibility to participate in interscholastic programs at their local public high schools, unfortunately, opponents to homeschooled students’ participation declined to consider compromise of any kind.  There was one positive outcome of the discussion group:  the assemblage of a valuable collection of documents that will help to educate and inform constituents, legislators and the general public about the topic (see the second link, below).

The following links offer more information about the discussion group and VaHomeschoolers’ participation:

VSBA Discussion Group Public Documents Portal
VaHomeschoolers provided discussion group members with a wealth of documents related to homeschooling in Virginia and homeschool sports access laws and policies in other states. The portal also includes documents and perspectives from group participants who oppose homeschool sports access.

About the VSBA Discussion Group on Homeschool Sports Access – July 6, 2012
VaHomeschoolers’ initial announcement of our participation in the Sports Access Discussion Group.

Homeschool Sports Access: Our Work in the “Off-Season” – August 14, 2012
A summary of the first Sports Access Discussion Group meeting and of VaHomeschoolers’ informal survey of several state athletic associations where homeschool sports access already has been implemented.

VaHomeschoolers Legislative Report – September 14, 2012 
A summary of the second Sports Access Discussion Group meeting, where VaHomeschoolers presented information on homeschool sports access laws and policies in other states.

Sports Access Discussion Group Update – October 3, 2012
A summary of the final Sports Access Discussion Group meeting and of VaHomeschoolers’ informal survey of several state athletic associations where homeschool sports access already has been implemented.

Sports Access Advocacy History

2013

2012

2011

2010

2008

  • VaHomeschoolers Legislative Report – January 13, 2008 Legislation to Amend Home Instruction Statute Adds Filing Options, Bill Adds Testing/Evaluation Options to Home Instruction Statute, Educational Tax Credit Bills Introduced in House, Sports Access Bill, Truancy Bill Could Impact Homeschooling Freedoms


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