The debate has long ensued regarding homeschoolers and their participation in public education sports programs. This session, in Missouri, homeschoolers are watching HB476 , introduced by Representatives Funderburk and Parkinson of St. Charles County. The act provides every high school age student to have the opportunity to participate in inter-scholastic athletics. Homeschoolers have always been squeamish about signing on to publicly sponsored programs for fear of being pulled into the system and required to register with their state. They should be as equally cautious about this bill because in order to be qualified to participate in inter-scholastic sports, under this legislation, students shall …
(8) Be maintaining a satisfactory grade point average sufficient to meet the school district’s academic policy to participate in athletics or making satisfactory progress in his or her education program that is considered equivalent to the school district’s academic policy to participate in athletics.
No measures are interjected into the bill to outline how a homeschooled student would be required to supply that information. While this bill is thinking ahead in that it has encompassed every kind of learning situation, including virtual schools, which are a big part of the Race To The Top initiative, otherwise know as Educated Citizenry 2020 in Missouri, it does not have specific language to maintain educational autonomy for homeschoolers.
If the student’s school of attendance does not offer interscholastic athletics, the student shall have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics through his or her public school district of residence.
While HB476 tries to offer all high school students an opportunity to participate in inter-sholastics sports, it does not offer any language to allow competition between primarily homeschool teams and teams formed in private or public schools.