NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Texas High School Coaches Association is hoping for the state legislature to once again strike down a bill that would allow for home school students to participate in events, both academic and athletic, sponsored by the University Interscholastic League.
Representative James Frank of Wichita Falls will have House Bill 547 voted on Wednesday in Austin.
“This is a bill we have been fighting for five session,” THSCA Executive Director Joe Martin said. “This is from James Frank. He wrote this bill out about six weeks ago. I was there to testify against it. The bill was not moving so he submitted another version that was more permissive that will now allow local ISD’s to have local control. They would be able to make a decision if they wanted to allow home school students to participate in UIL activities.”
In the past the bill looked to make it where the districts had to allow but if passed the policy of allowing for home school kids to participate could vary depending on what each district wants to do.
“If there is adjoining school districts and one uses hoe school athletes and one doesn’t we will see some real rifts and some real rivalries created because there are opportunities in those schools that are allowing schools to participate,” Martin said. “They don’t have to follow the same standards as those that are going to school every day in public schools.”
The big concern from the coaches organization is that attendance regulations and academic standards vary between public schools and different home school curriculums.
“It is the same argument on both sides,” Martin said. “We continue to argue that it creates an unfair playing field. There will be some school district that elect to do this. I don’t think it will be many but those that will do it will create an unleveled playing field.”