The bill that will allow charter and online students to participate in athletics at their home boundary traditional high school passed the House of Representatives late Wednesday night.

Sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, SB36 passed the house 54-10 about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the last day of the 2008 Legislative Session.

"This simply standardizes the method where charter or online students can participate in extra curricular activities at boundary or the school from which they withdrew to attend the charter or online school," said Madsen in an earlier debate.

In August, the Utah High School Activities Association's Board of Trustees amended the interpretation of its bylaws to allow public schools to give access to their athletic programs and activities to charter or online students. At least one district, Alpine, would not allow these students to participate, although they were discussing some compromises when this bill was introduced in January.

The UHSAA didn't oppose the bill, but they didn't think it was necessary either.

"This bill is a Xerox of policies already in place," Van Wagoner said. "We don't oppose the policy, but we don't think it needs to be the subject of legislation."

After clearing its final legislative hurdle, the bill was sent to the Senate so it could be enrolled. It will go next to the governor to be signed into law.

Two other bills sponsored by Madsen concerning high school sports participation did not get legislative approval. A bill that would have allowed transfers for athletic reasons died on the floor of the Senate, while SB37, which would have standardized how home school students become academically eligible for athletics, didn't get approval from the House of Representatives.

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