The Texas Senate Education Committee this week endorsed a bill that would allow home-schooled students to participate in University Interscholastic League events.
Sponsored by Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, and Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, Senate Bill 929 now moves to the full chamber for consideration.
Local home-school parents said they probably won’t urge their children to participate if the bill passes because they home-school to get away from state government oversight.
“It’s cracking the door open for more restrictions and more ways that the state, that the government, can control home schooling,” parent Sandi Ringer said. “I think that within the home-school community this year we have grown a lot. In Johnson County, there are so many opportunities for your home-schooler to get out there and associate or compete or whatever against other home-schoolers.”
A new sports association is under way, as is a home-school band, Ringer said. The county’s home-school community is also holding its first prom later this month and a graduation in May.
“These are things that a lot of time, home-school students are left out of,” Ringer said. “But not here.”
Johnson County Sports Association President and Football Coach Jimmy Stanford said that while the bill has some positives, he’s concerned about future tax hikes if home-school students participating in UIL activities are counted as part of a school district’s average daily attendance, as piggybacking bills suggest.
He said the sports association, which is part of Texas Christian Athletic League, is off to a great start. About 20 students participated in track and football sign-ups are beginning soon.
Cleburne ISD Head Football Coach Jeff Merket voiced concerns over the possible change, and said it would be difficult to hold home-schoolers to the same accountability standards as public school students.