Do Tim Tebow bills jeopardize vibrant home school sports programs?
● Home school athletics have thrived since Florida enacted its Tim Tebow bill in 1996. A year later, in 1997, Florida’s largest home school sports association was created (CHAA Saints). That association employs more than 70 coaches who teach more than 3,000 children in 20 different sports.
● Despite being comparatively less sports minded, Arizona continues to have a very strong home school, multi-sport league called EVAC.
● Home school groups from states with Tebow laws did not see significant, noticeable effects on home school sports participation. The Florida association anticipates that the law has had little effect on home school sports programs.
● Certain Texas home school coaches have raised the question of whether states with Tim Tebow laws field low-quality home school basketball teams. The evidence shows that there is not a solid correlation between a Tim Tebow law and a poor statewide sports program. The idea rests upon two assumptions:
- First, it assumes that the quality of a home school basketball team reflects the quality of the entire statewide home school sports program. Meanwhile, states such as California, Virginia, and Florida do not rank among the top home school basketball teams, and yet each state has quality home school athletic programs. California maintains its own home school league and hosts national tournaments.
- Second, the idea assumes that states with Tim Tebow laws are the states with poor basketball teams. To reiterate, California, Virginia, and Florida do not field top-notch basketball teams to the national home school tournament. Of those three states, only Florida has a Tim Tebow law.
● Home school teams in states with Tebow laws are competitive in the national home school basketball championships. In 2012 two out of the top three varsity boys Division I basketball teams were from Tebow states. In 2013 two out of the top five girls varsity basketball teams were from states with Tebow laws.
Why haven’t the Tim Tebow laws significantly affected home school programs?
● Home school athletics programs offer an outstanding Christian environment with like-minded athletes.
● The National Christian Forensics Communications Association (NCFCA) offers stellar, Christian competition that draws students from 48 states. Many of those states have Tim Tebow laws that enable home school students to participate in public school speech and debate programs. Due to its Christian environment, the NCFCA thrives nationwide and is the third largest national speech and debate league in America.
Wouldn’t home school students leave their home school sports programs?
● Some home school students do not have a local home school sports program in the event in which they wish to compete.
● The Tim Tebow Bill would primarily affect rural home school athletes who must drive hundreds of miles weekly to play in a home school sport. Last week a home school family drove more than three hours to the Texas Capitol to testify for our Tim Tebow bill. Every week this family drives more than 400 miles in order to compete in a home school soccer league.
● The law would affect home school students who face the terrible dilemma of deciding between enrolling in public school for athletic scholarship opportunities and learning at home. Some students forgo a high school home education rather than forgo the opportunity to compete for college sports scholarships.
Can’t home school students receive the same scholarship opportunities in home school programs?
● If you are a home school student who lives near a large city with a well-developed home school program and you desire to play one of the well-developed sports, such as basketball, then you have a chance for a scholarship. Otherwise, there are very few options for home school students to receive an athletic scholarship.