RICHMOND, Va. — The Senate of Virginia on Tuesday passed Delegate Rob Bell’s House Bill 1626, also known as the “Tebow Bill.” HB 1626 would allow schools to permit homeschooled students to participate in competitive extracurricular activities like sports, forensics and band. The legislation has already passed the House of Delegates. Bell said Tuesday he would accept the Senate amendments and send the bill to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk for his signature.
“For years I have fought to give homeschooled students fair access to extracurricular activities in public schools. This concept is endorsed by 29 other states and is widely supported by the public,” said Del. Rob Bell (R-Albemarle). “I am very excited the Senate moved this bill forward. I will accept the Senate amendment and send the bill to Gov. McAuliffe’s desk for his signature.”
House Bill 1626 would give local school boards the option of allowing homeschooled students to participate in school sports and other extracurricular activities. In order to participate, students must be receiving home instruction in a manner compliant with state law, be able to demonstrate two consecutive years of academic progress, be under the age of 19, and be compliant with all immunization, disciplinary and eligibility requirements. Students are only allowed to participate in the school district in which they live.
“Fundamentally, this bill is about opportunity. This is about giving the over 32,000 homeschoolers in Virginia the opportunity to participate in school sports, clubs and group activities. This is about letting parents decide how to design the optimal educational path for their children,” said Bell.