“Tim Tebow” Bill: That’s the label popularly given to a variety of efforts to allow private, parochial and homeschooled students to participate in public school sports. Extracurricular activities in West Virginia public schools are largely controlled by the Secondary School Activities Commission (SSAC) as described in WV Code §18-2-25. That section of the law allows county boards of education to delegate their authority to regulate athletic and other extracurricular activities of their schools to the SSAC, thereby authorizing that body to regulate participation and competition among schools.
Legislation was introduced in the WV House of Delegates every year since at least 2012 that would have added language to the SSAC law cited above to allow homeschooled students to be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletic events and extracurricular activities of secondary schools, subject to some restrictions. Those bills received no consideration and died in the House Education Committee to which they were referred.
Students in private and parochial schools are already included under current law if they delegate to the SSAC, “control, supervision and regulation, upon the same terms and conditions, subject to the same regulations and requirements and upon the payment of the same fees and charges as those provided for public secondary schools.”
CHEWV has and continues to focus its energy and resources in taking a leading role only on public policies and regulations which facilitate families’ choice to educate their children at home with a minimum of government interference. Nonetheless, CHEWV agrees that parents who desire to have their children participate in public school sports should have that right. Many of our subscribers and members are greatly interested in this issue. Recently another entity began a petition effort at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/wv-tim-tebow-bill . Their stated purpose is to use the petition to encourage lawmakers to address a “Tim Tebow” bill in the coming session. In just a few days they have almost reached their goal of 1,000 signatures. This is and will continue to be a hot topic of discussion in WV as proponents and opponents share their viewpoints.