Home-schooled kids taking part in schools' activities is aim of bill

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  • Here's the reality . . .
    March 22, 2009 5:47 a.m.

    Having been there done that, there is a simple solution that public schools refuse to implement - just require an academic competency exam for all extra-curricular participants. Homeschool is all about competency - public school is about comparing a classroom full of children to each other. I know of exactly ZERO homeschooled children whose parents allowed them to slide by with a 2.0. And I was on the board of a homeschool-charter school that had five thousand students!

  • Kudos to Another HS coach
    Feb. 21, 2009 1:58 p.m.

    Well said.

    Tax payers pay for the right to attend school and receive an education. Choosing not to attend is a choice.

    Athletics is extra-curricular. Additional fees and revenue from gate receipts from football and boys basketball carry most of the rest.

    If anything, tax dollars only pay for the building, utilities, and a few bus rides.

    Feb. 21, 2009 1:45 p.m.

    I am a coach of a girls athletic team, and we are mainly funded by participation fees and fund raising for our program. The district gives us only a $3,500 budget to pay for all of our expenses (which doesn't last very long now a days). The majority of the tax dollars go to education and facility fees. We get most of our athletic budget from the deals our schools and districts make with vendors of soda, candy, chips, etc. (ironic). Stop saying that you have paid for the "right" to play in after school activities! You haven't! You have paid for the protected right for every child in our country to attend school and get an education! I have not heard of a talented player being turned away for being homeschooled. This is a fallacy! If you child can play hard and has talent, they will make a high school team! Hands down! If your child is used to being a star in your backyard homeschool athletics, they probably don't have the talent to play at this level. We are becoming a tee-ball nation more and more everyday...

  • MOM
    Feb. 20, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    This is so not about home schooled children participating in high school sports. They can do that today on the same terms as any other Utah student, public or private. Everyone admits that. This is about putting home schooled children ahead of every other kid. And, as Madsen said at the meeting, it's really about the fact that he has been turned back by the legislature in his efforts for years.

    He should lose again this time. Everyone on the same terms. Everyone.

  • Parent notes?
    Feb. 20, 2009 2:22 p.m.

    Let's clear the air...no one accepts parent notes as evidence of eligibility. There has to be more evidence than just a note.

    I've worked in several schools/athletic programs and never seen home school athletes become eligible on "a parent note only." The principal has to approve it and he/she must be convinced...he/she is the one who ultimately determines eligibility. Any departure from the ethical line would be called to the attention of district officials and the UHSAA.

  • Susie
    Feb. 20, 2009 11:13 a.m.

    Take a pick of the following: A fee waiver student that does not pay any fees for anything at school and plays sports for free. Driving up the cost for non-fee waiver kids. OR A kid who costs the local school nothing, but pays taxes for the school to operate, and pays in full for all school activities.

  • H.S. Coach
    Feb. 20, 2009 11:07 a.m.

    Here's a perspective from someone who is actually affected by this issue first hand. As a coach I follow my local youth leagues (in my school boundaries) and getting to know as many kids as possible. As the kids get to high school age I care only that they are achieving academically and are trying out for my program. Home schooled or not! I don't know a single coach that would turn a homeschooled kid away from his program if the athletic talent was there. Some of you are so far out of touch with reality it's embarrassing.

  • Public Ed. Teacher
    Feb. 20, 2009 9:50 a.m.

    This is some of the most pathetic and embarassing comments I have ever seen on a posting board.

    Homeschool is a right guaranteed to any individual who wants to take that path. No one should be punished by society for this. They should have every oppotunity to participate in High School sports just the same as they would participate in society as a whole.

    Public school advocates need to realize that their way is not the only way. That is probably the biggest problem with public school. "Our institution is the only one capable of preparing people to be positive citizens of our communities." This is not a battle!!! You could do yourself a favor and instead of always looking to protect and defend; assimilate some new ideas and realize that yours is not the only way. This is a very selfish attitude that is overly prevalent in the public education system (and yes I see this first hand almost on a daily basis).

  • Rep. Madsen
    Feb. 20, 2009 8:34 a.m.

    It appears he has something against public education. Every day it seems like he is putting up bills taking shots at public education. No one is disputing letting home schoolers play, the issue is accountability in keeping up with a 2.0 GPA. Just having your parents say you are keeping up is creating prefered treatment.

  • Uninformed Rights
    Feb. 20, 2009 7:55 a.m.

    If people are not aware of the rights they already have to participate in school sports then we need to have some kind of public awareness campaign to let these people know of their rights. If this law passes who's to say that people (on either side) will be any more informed?
    The last thing we need is a law that in the end will certianly seek to place blame, at some point, and criminalizes people who were just not aware of the rules. This law is jumping the gun quite a bit.

  • Madsen and Buttars
    Feb. 20, 2009 7:42 a.m.

    How do guys like this get elected? People in those districts should be ashamed that they are not better educated on the candidates when they go to the polls.

  • Stereotypes
    Feb. 20, 2009 7:26 a.m.

    I didn't misunderstand, I just wanted to add to your post. Thanks for your support!

  • Re: re: stereotypes
    Feb. 19, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    I agree with the points you made. You may have misunderstood my original blog. I warned both groups not to stereotype. I work in the public schools and my own children attended and graduated in the public schools. I am a proponet of public schools.

    I have a good friend who did homeschool her children for some time while her husband worked in the services. The base schools did not meet her needs. She had a teaching degree (English/History) and had taught in the public schools previously. Her husband was in the medical field in the military. The two of them had great backgrounds and they took the task seriously. Their children thrived because of their efforts.

    They may be the exception...which is why I warned against stereotypes.

  • Re: Stereotypes
    Feb. 19, 2009 10:17 p.m.

    I'd like it to be stated that this goes for public ed students as well. I'm a little upset by the pro-home school folks dissing on those of us in public ed.

    It's the student that makes the education, not the system. If you want to get a good education then you can do it in public school; the teachers, opportunity, and ability is there. I did it and now have a full-ride to the university of my choice as my reward, not to mention a high school diploma I can be proud of as it represents all the work I put in to get it. Those who choose not to take advantage of this and just float their way through public ed are hindering themselves.

    If you don't want us to stereotype homeschoolers, don't stereotype us. Test scores after all, are irrelevant. They are rarely, if ever, an adequate measurement of person's intelligence. They are a great measurement of a person's ability to memorize and spit back answers on a multiple choice exam.

  • Beware of Stereotypes
    Feb. 19, 2009 8:03 p.m.

    Those who choose homeschool as their method of schooling represent a wide variety. Labeling them as religious zealots is not accurate just as labeling public schools are failures is not accurate. No one can use such a broad brush to paint the actual picture.

    Sure, there are some in both cultures who are on the extreme right or left. Granted, there are examples of success and failure in both.

    The only common thread I have seen that provides success in each are those who support the education and enrich the education of their students.

  • HS Principal
    Feb. 19, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    I am not sure that this bill is necessary. Homeschool students are welcome to participate in extra-curricular activities now.

    Parents or homeschool instructors must present a report card that represents the courses the student is taking along with the description of the course or textbook associated with it. They also must provide evidence of a current grade. Homeschool students are expected to prove that they have a full load and possess a 2.0 GPA.

    There is no need for this bill. It is up to each principal to decide whether all students are academically eligible and are considered full-time students.

  • Re: East Coast
    Feb. 19, 2009 7:47 p.m.

    Homeschoolers are a very diverse group. We homeschool for a variety of reasons. Very few of us are "religious zealots", although we're happy homeschooling allows us to include our beliefs in the curriculum. We're also happy to be able to choose our own curriculum, matching it to the learning styles of our children. We're happy to help our children go at their own pace, whether that's accelerated or slowed down. We're happy to be able to accommodate gifted areas, work around learning disabilities, avoid bullies and drug abuse, and keep our children close. You are much more likely to find children with special needs among us, because we could not get the schools to adequately address those needs.

    As for our education levels, studies have shown that even with just a high school diploma by the parents, the kids score on average at the 75th to 80th percentile on standardized tests. And all the homeschoolers I know continually network with each other, to find the best methods and curriculum and for social opportunities for their kids. Colleges actively recruit homeschoolers, and find that they do at least as well as their public-schooled peers.

  • Re: East Coast
    Feb. 19, 2009 7:00 p.m.

    I see why you go by an alias. :/ Sharing your knowledge anonymously is the only way to go. Visit the library or something.

  • Rick
    Feb. 19, 2009 6:50 p.m.

    Wow, East Coast and others---why the vitriol against home schoolers? What is it about homeschooling that makes you mad? I agree with Shaun. If the parents want to keep paying taxes and yet remove their kids from school leaving more school resources for everyone else, why is that a problem? Let the kids do the extracurricular--they paid for it!

    And what's all the fuss about whether they have a 2.0 GPA or not? This is not a hard problem to solve, people. Make them take a competency test. Guess what--the homeschoolers will on the whole knock the socks off the kids in public school.

    I find this particularly disturbing to hear the anti-homeschoolers on this issue because people against homeschooling always argue that homeschoolers do not get enough social interaction. And yet when parents want to put their kids in after school activities for, say, social interaction then they get turned away? What is the problem here?

  • East Coast
    Feb. 19, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    Neither. It's the truth.

  • Re: School isn't just about Triv
    Feb. 19, 2009 5:54 p.m.

    Are you referring to all student athletes?

    If not...

    Before anymore embarrassing comments are made, please look at the statistics/facts...this is from Wikipedia ("homeschooling")

    "John Taylor later found, using the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, "while half of the conventionally schooled children scored at or below the 50th percentile (in self-concept), only 10.3% of the home-schooling children did so."[69] He further stated that "the self-concept of home-schooling children is significantly higher (and very much so statistically) than that of children attending the conventional school. This has implications in the areas of academic achievement and socialization, to mention only two. These areas have been found to parallel self-concept. Regarding socialization, Taylor's results would mean that very few home-schooling children are socially deprived. He claims that critics who speak out against home schooling on the basis of social deprivation are actually addressing an area which favors home schoolers.[69]"b

  • Cutting Athletic Budgets?
    Feb. 19, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    I believe most Athletic programs raise most of their money through a fundraiser or a banquet through out the year, maybe you should have a banquet and raise some money for enlish, science, history, math? Athletics don't deserve to get cut, and either does any classes. You guys against athletics are killing me, do you know how many kids athletics actually keep kids from going a stray. Probably not because your kids are perfect, well not everyones kids are perfect and this is what they need to keep their education going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As far as this story, I don't like mommy signing a note either and there should be a better way of making sure they fall in that 2.0 category!

  • Re: East Coast
    Feb. 19, 2009 5:33 p.m.

    Is that an attempt of satire? or an example of true ignorance?

  • School isn't just about Trivia
    Feb. 19, 2009 5:32 p.m.

    I think they should have to pass a social competency exam as well.

  • East Coast
    Feb. 19, 2009 5:20 p.m.

    For those of you who think homeschoolers are discriminated against with high school activities, you may be right. Homeschoolers are also discriminated against by American society in general because the only people who homeschool are religious zealots, uneducated parents who don't know better, or the tiny percentage who may go on to Harvard because they are geniuses (a TINY percentage of homeschoolers). If you homeschool and don't want to be discriminated against, then join the rest of the world and contribute to society. Go to school, get into a university, graduate, and have a meaningful career that actually contributes something. Don't be shocked that discrimination happens behind your back. This bill is another worthless, meaningless waste of taxpayer's time.

  • and then...
    Feb. 19, 2009 5:19 p.m.

    the next bill will be no cuts of home schoolers from any team, regardless of athletic ability.
    Be fair to all students and allow all parents to sign eligibility, thereby taking it out of educator's hands completely. That should make things fair for all and very interesting.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 19, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    People who say sports should just be done with are crazy. I didn't even play any and that was my number 1 memory from high school. Davis '08 baby

  • As a tax payer...
    Feb. 19, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    Homeschoolers save the state money by not sending kids to school. The homeschoolers I know chose to homeschool after some serious problems with the public schools. Bullying and lack of differentiating levels in the classroom. When the kids know the material, and must sit there for 8 hours learning nothing, there is a huge problem. And the kids do act up. So parents homeschool.

    Homeschoolers choose to educate their own for various reasons-usually multiple kids to keep their schedule consistent for the family.
    So these parents stay home and educate, paying taxes, curriculum, choose not to work (It is a choice), but then they are to not get the benefit of their taxes paid at all? Why is it all or nothing? If Trax isn't ridden regularly, are citizens banned from using it? How about specific roads we don't drive on? This is craziness to me.

    To get over the 2.0 gpa, just have the homeschoolers take the ITBS or something, so they have some accountability like regular students who want to do sports. If they know the stuff at a 2.0 gpa level, it's kinda evident they are learning at home.

  • Big Al
    Feb. 19, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    I have no problem allowing home-schooled children to participate in high school activities. What I do have a problem with is that they only need a note from Mom in order to participate.

    I have certain responsibilities with extra-curricular activities in a high school. The last time this came up, we had a young man who was a monster on the football field, but he was a weakling in the classroom. He was not close to being eligible to play football. When his mother heard about the possibility of him being able to play with a note from home, she immediately pulled him out of school and wrote the note the same day.

    So, you home-school junkies on this thread who see no problem with home-schooled children participating in high school sports remember this; a young person enrolled in public schools has to meet certain requirements in order to participate. You want all the benefits without any of the responsibilities.

    We had a home-schooled young woman play basketball a few years ago. She had to show academically that she was on the same level as her peers in school. That's as it should be.

  • Katerina
    Feb. 19, 2009 4:39 p.m.

    I live in Florida. Our state passed this rule a while ago and it has worked out great.

    Tim Tebow was home-schooled and was allowed under Florida law to play football in the public high school. If it were not for that law, Tim Tebow would not have that Heizman trophy now, the Gators would not have won and Tim would not be as effective of a Christian missionary as he is today.

    I home schooled for over 28 years and paid property taxes all of those years which is where the public schools here get their money to build schools,etc. Yet, not once have we used the facilities except for after school sports. I think that as long as home school families pay their taxes they should also be able to benefit.

  • Shaun McC
    Feb. 19, 2009 3:37 p.m.

    It seems that during a budget shortfall, home-schoolers that are willing to take on the expense and responsibility of educating their children while still paying the taxes that fund the schools, should have every advantage possible. The number of home-schooled children in this state has made it possible for the state to build many less schools and hire many less teachers (which is why the teacher's union and their attorneys are so upset with home-schoolers). This has saved the state and local districts (and taxpayers) millions of dollars.

    Forcing homeschooled children back into the schools full time so they can participate in activities like sports, band, chorus, drama, debate, etc. will cost millions while dropping the quality of education for both home-schoolers and public school children because of increased class sizes and less opportunities. We should encourage more people to home-school if they want to, and save our tax dollars.

    My own children (we have home-schooled for 30 years) have been discriminated against because they were not enrolled full time. It is unfair and unnecessary. I pay taxes too.

  • larry
    Feb. 19, 2009 3:36 p.m.

    Good on ya! Your comment really made me grin!

  • larry
    Feb. 19, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    It seems that during a budget shortfall, the first cuts should be made within the athletic programs.

  • RE: Agreed
    Feb. 19, 2009 1:24 p.m.

    Is it really that simple? The parents of those home-schooled children pay for public education just like every other parent.

    Not to allow home-schooled students to participate in extra-curricular activities would be like saying that only people who ride TRAX and the bus all year can use any service that UTA provides. We all pay for UTA services, so we should be able to use them in part or in whole as we wish.

    The same goes for public education. If a student wants to take advantage of tax funded courses, extra-curricular activities, or anything else, then they should be able to, even if they don't use all of the services.

  • JHP
    Feb. 19, 2009 1:21 p.m.

    The question here is whether or not home schooled children would have preferential treatment by allowing their parents to determine their academic standing.

    Some people complain that a parent could lie and say their student is doing well, whereas at a public school there is a "third-party" who ensures the accuracy of a report.

    The problem with this is that there are also many school teachers and administrators who fudge grades to allow "star" athletes to participate.

    If parents are legally allowed to home school their children and determine their grades for graduation, then they should be trusted to determine their student's academic eligibility. Some parents might not report accurately, but neither do public school teachers necessarily. They're on equal ground.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 19, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    A better solution would be to remove athletics from High School and have them done privately.

  • Agreed
    Feb. 19, 2009 12:48 p.m.

    I participated in sports and other extracurricular activities in high school.

    If I wanted to participate, I had to maintain a 2.0 GPA, just like everyone else. Our school did not allow home-schooled students to participate.

    Why? It's simple. They did not go to the school. If you want to participate, go to the school. It is not fair that I and thousands of other student-athletes had to go to school and keep up a GPA only to be undercut by some girl who feels left out because she is home-schooled.

    If you want to participate, do yourself a favor: sign up for classes at the high school and get enrolled!

    If you are unwilling to do that, you have forfeited your privilege to participate--simple as that.

    For that matter, I cannot stand the incompetency of our State Legislature that they cannot understand what they are saying. I think we need to elect some new people to fix education here at the next election based on all of this junk opinions we're hearing.

  • Henry
    Feb. 19, 2009 12:31 p.m.

    If you don't attend the school, you shouldn't be allowed to represent it or the community at large in inter-school athletics. This is a no-brainer. As is typical, our legislature doesn't even qualify as understanding that simple piece of knowledge.