If Delegate Rob Bell's HB 947 known as the "Tebow Bill" passes Virginia House of Delegates today, it will be an historic day in homeschool history. Never before has a homeschool sports access bill, making it possible for homeschool students to have an opportunity to try out for sports teams, made it this far in the Commonwealth's General Assembly.
Governor Bob McDonnell (R) is for it. Delegate Bell (R- 58th House) sponsored it. The Family Foundation backs it. Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) also backs it as well as the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers.
It has been a long road -- years in the making. This time around it was first voted out of the House Education sub-committee, then the full House Education committee, and finally making it through two preliminary "readings" on the House floor. Today is the final vote and, if it passes, history will be made.
Fellow citizen journalist Sandy Sanders added his support this morning along with that of many House delegates who realize the Tebow Bill is not a threat to public school sports.
To those who have expressed concern about homeschoolers meeting academic standards that are required of public school students, that is covered. While homeschoolers do not take the SOLs, they are required to be tested annually to prove academic progress in order to continue education at home.
Homeschooled students have continually proven over the years that they can keep up with their public school peers academically. Testimony to that is the number of homeschoolers who have been spelling bee champs, who have regularly equaled or outscored public school students on SAT and ACT tests, who have received higher education scholarships, and who have scored in research, work, academia, the military, and beyond.
Twenty-two states allow homeschooler access including Florida which is where quarterback Tim Tebow's talent was allowed to shine. Those states include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.
Sources are saying there are holdouts within the Republican delegation so parents may want to put in extra phone calls and emails to their reps before tomorrow's vote.
For more info check out these posts:
- Tebow Bill: Does House GOP back HB 947?
- It's a first! "Tebow Bill" goes to full House for vote
- "Tebow Bill" seeks homeschooler access to public school sports
- "Tebow Bill" for homschooler sports access advances
All eyes will be on the House today as HB 947 comes up for a vote. Will the "Tebow Bill" finally make it out of the House and across to the other side of the Capitol building? Vote YES for HB 947!