Let’s see what the legislature did!! We’ll start with homeschoolers and the UIL….

This week’s Daily Dawg will be entirely about new legislation.  Let’s jump in with one of the most hotly debated bills. 

TIM TEBOW COMES TO TEXAS.  Homeschoolers finally succeeded in the effort to permit their children to participate in UIL activities representing a school the student does not attend.  Tim Tebow did this many years ago in Florida.  Perhaps the next Tebow will be a Texan. 

YOUR CALL.  The bill makes this permissible, but not required, so each school will have to decide.  The student is subject to school policies re: registration, age eligibility, fees, insurance, transportation, physical condition, qualifications, responsibilities, event schedules, standards of behavior and performance.  The student is subject to immunization requirements as they apply to other students, including the exceptions to the requirements.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?  The student can only participate at the school “that the student would be eligible to attend based on the student’s residential address.”  Proof of residency must be provided.

NO PASS NO PLAY??? To participate in the first six weeks of the year, the student must demonstrate grade level proficiency on any “nationally recognized, norm-referenced assessment instrument, such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, Stanford Achievement Test, California Achievement Test, or Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills.” Student must have a composite, core, or survey score that is at least within the average range of scores as established by the applicable testing service.  Meeting this standard is sufficient for the school year in which the test was taken, and the next school year.

“The parent…is responsible for oversight of academic standards relating to the student’s participation in a league activity.”

After the first six weeks, or earlier at the coach’s request, the parent must “periodically, in accordance with the school’s grading calendar, provide written verification…indicating that the student is receiving a passing grade in each course or subject being taught.”

“I USED TO GO TO THAT SCHOOL!”  The homeschool student is not authorized to participate “during the remainder of any school year during which the student was previously enrolled in a public school.”  Notice: any public school. 

UIL: DON’T GET ANY IDEAS.  The UIL may not prohibit homeschoolers from participating.

LEAVING HOME SCHOOLS ALONE.  This law does not give school officials the authority to exercise control, supervision, or regulatory authority over the homeschool program. Nor to require any changes. 

ONE MORE THING.  HB 547 also requires the UIL to allow students who receive services under the supervision of the Juvenile Justice Department to participate in UIL activities “in the same manner” as students in the public schools.  The UIL is to enter a Memorandum of Understanding about this.

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 1, 2021.

Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at jwalsh@wabsa.com

Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday!!