Tim Tebow, who is quickly becoming one of the biggest NFL icons in history, is also receiving a lot of attention surrounding laws which have passed, or are being considered, in many states. The Tim Tebow Laws allow homeschool students rights to play sports with their local public and private high schools. These laws were quickly referred to as “Tim Tebow Laws” based on the fact that he is one of the most famous and prevalent athletes who has successfully attended and graduated from homeschool, yet was able to play football with his local public high school on his way to his NFL career. The first Tim Tebow Law passed in 1996 in Florida, while since then at least 14 other states have accepted and passed similar laws.
Opponents of this bill feel it is not fair for homeschooled students to be able to participate at the same level in public school sports because they cannot possibly meet all of the same requirements as the public school students who are expected to have a specific level of attendance and grade point average. Many states require their athletes to meet about 13 eligibility requirements to remain on the team, the argument is that most homeschoolers only meet about six or seven of these requirements. When it comes to meeting or matching GPA requirements some public school athletes and their parents feel it is not fair for them to have to work for their grades under a completely unbiased situation when many homeschooled students are taught by parents, family, or friends that are in a more biased situation. There is some controversy as well regarding the amount of time a homeschooled student may be able to dedicate to working out and training, in comparison to the average public student. Which brings up the debate on whether public schools will then be able to start recruiting for top athletes within the homeschool system?
Supporters of the Tim Tebow laws believe homeschooled students should have the same rights as public school students, after all parents of homeschooled children pay the same amount of taxes as all the public school students’ parents. In fact, most homeschool parents pay even more on average for their student’s education than those subsidized within the public school system.
Tim Tebow has been a great example of success within the homeschool community. For many years parents who wished to homeschool their children have been criticized and accused of not being able to provide the same level of education, socialization, and extracurricular activities as public school. These laws have the potential to help homeschool parents involve their children in more social and extracurricular activities.
The State of Virginia has recently passed their own Tebow law even after some highly contested debate. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, twenty-five states now allow homeschooled students to play sports in public schools with varying restrictions. Tennessee is currently deliberating whether to provide greater access to athletics for home-schoolers. Mississippi and Alabama are both expected to consider pursuing similar legislature this year.