‘Tim Tebow Bill’ Headlines Home-Schooling Issues Addressed in 2013

Public and private schools are wrapping up for the year, giving teachers and students a well-earned break. The summer offers an opportunity for administrators and parents to step back and examine what went well and what didn’t go well. It’s also a good time to look at what the legislatures have been doing on education issues. Today, we’ll look at home-schooling.

Arkansas has been particularly busy on the issue in 2013, enacting at least two bills addressing equality for home-schooled children.  First came HB 1629, which guarantees equal access to Governor’s Scholar Program awards. That was followed by HB 1789 — more commonly known as the Tim Tebow Bill — allowing home-schoolers to participate in  interscholastic activities (like sports). Other states passed similar bills, named for the famed college quarterback, this year including Colorado and Tennessee. More than two dozen states now allow home-schooled children to participate in school sports. A version of the bill made it through the Texas Senate but died in a House committee.

New Mexico now allows home-schooled children to enroll in courses at public schools. (SB 302).

North Carolina modified the definition of home-schooling, in S 189, as did Tennessee (HB 1055). The Volunteer State did so to clarify eligibility for the Tennessee HOPE scholarship.

A number of other bills related to home-schooling have been passed by legislatures this year. Here’s a rundown from StateTrack.