Thursday, March 1, 2012

'Tebow Bill' Dies: Let's Educate All Kids Equally

Tim Tebow was homeschooled.
I notice where a Virginia Senate committee, by an 8-7 vote, killed the "Tebow Bill" today. That's the legislation that would have allowed homeschooled kids to play sports in public schools. The argument against the legislation is that the homeschoolers can't be properly monitored for academic progress and that they don't have the same schedules as the publics and blah, blah, blah.

The bill is called the "Tebow Bill" because pro football player Tim Tebow, who was homeschooled, was a high school football all-American in Florida, which allowed him to play for a public school.

I tend to side with the Republicans here (god forbid this should happen often), but for different reasons. they tend to side with anything based in religion and my guess is that's behind their support in this. The bulk of homeschooled kids have a religious bent to their education. Some don't, though. Most whether religious or not, by a large margin, are better educated than their public counterparts and get into college easily.

The argument I make here, though, is about government services being available to all our citizens. It isn't just that homeschoolers pay the same taxes as public school parents (without getting the service), but that citizens are entitled to government services on an equal basis. Period.

Democrats insist this would hurt public schools and I argue that ultimately it would help because when some of these homeschooled kids and parents are exposed to what goes on in public schools and allowed to make friends (and teammates) with the public students, many will want to switch. They will understand that the public students aren't heathens and they don't have cooties.

The biggest problem with the legislation is that it's only about sports and not other extracurricular activities: forensics, chess, band, chorus, art, various academic clubs and on and on. The public education goal should be to educate all the students in the state in the ways it can. That's a simple and attainable goal.

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