RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — State lawmakers are looking at a bill that could allow home-schooled students to play for public schools’ sports teams.
The bill would apply to children who are home schooled or who attend public schools that don’t offer a particular sport or activity.
Republican state Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie County) is one of the bill’s sponsors.
“Education doesn’t fit the traditional model anymore,” he said. “Education is changing. It’s different.”
He said the children should have the right to participate.
“Their parents are taxpayers,” he said. “They paid for the public school system.”
The students would participate at the nearest public high school to offer the whichever activity they’re interested in, so long as they pay a “reasonable fee” to the high school.
Similar laws exist for home-schooled children in 22 other states.
“A lot of people that have chosen to home school don’t really want anything to do with the public school system at all,” said Spencer Mason of North Carolinians for Home Education.
The group hasn’t taken a formal position on the bill, but says there are home school parents on both sides.
Some believe the bill would lead to more regulations, while others think it will increase access for children in rural communities.
Public school parents we spoke with are split, too.
“I don’t know why they wouldn’t be allowed and given that same opportunity,” said Sheila Adcock.
“I’m not for it,” said Nancy Parrish. “Our schools are already overcrowded. It’s already tough for the kids that go to that school to join the team.”
Similar bills filed in recent years have died in the General Assembly.
The North Carolina School Boards Association opposes the bill. In the past, the state high school athletic association has said similar bills would lead to eligibility issues for students.