RICHMOND, Va. - The House of Delegates has passed legislation Thursday to allow home-schooled students to play public school sports, but the measure faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.
The House voted 56-43 to pass the so-called "Tebow bill" _ a reference to the New York Jets quarterback who was home-schooled but played high school football in Florida and went on to win the Heisman Trophy. The bill now goes to the Senate, where the Education and Health Committee voted 8-7 to kill the same measure last year.
The House vote came a few hours after the sponsor of the Senate version of the bill pulled it from the Education and Health Committee's calendar.
Supporters of the legislation sponsored by Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, said home- schooled students deserve the opportunity to compete because their parents pay taxes to support public schools.
But opponents argued that allowing home-schooled children to play is unfair because they aren't subject to the same attendance and academic requirements as public school students. Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, said parents have a right to teach their kids at home but they "do not have the right of demanding special exceptions to their choice."
Bell emphasized that the bill merely gives localities the option of allowing home-schoolers to participate if they so choose.
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