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Tim Tebow Bill passes Senate, raises local concerns

PALESTINE, May 10, 2013--The Tim Tebow Bill, which was recently passed by the Senate, is drawing a lot of attention. The Bill, if passed by the House and enacted into law, would allow Texas homeschool students to participate in UIL athletics at their local public schools.

The Bill was named after NFL athlete Tim Tebow because of his history of homeschooling. Tebow was allowed to play with a local public school while being homeschooled, and was able to use his talent to advance to the NFL.

The Texas Home School Coalition argues that children in these public school districts have parents who are paying the same taxes as their neighbors. These taxes support public school activities, yet homeschooled children are not allowed to participate. If the Tim Tebow Bill becomes law, that would all change. Texas would join over twenty other states who already allow homeschooled children to participate in the athletic programs of public schools.

Palestine Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Lance Angel voiced concern about the potential for abuse. “The one fear of this is it obviously is a law that can be abused. It is going to have to take some tight monitoring by the UIL.” His concern echoes that of many who would question the wisdom of such a Bill. Angel says the potential is there for parents to homeschool a child in order to make them eligible for athletic participation when they would not otherwise be eligible due to GPA or other factor.

Although cautious about possible public mishandling, Angel says “We are going to follow whatever the UIL sets.” If the Bill is passed into law, Angel plans to adjust and move forward with the athletic program quickly, saying, “Those kids who are homeschooled, who are eligible to play…we will sure accept them.”

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