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I have been following SB774 also known as the “Tim Tebow” bill. This bill, if passed, will allow Arkansas homeschoolers to participate in public school sports and activities. Right now, homeschoolers cannot participate in public school sports or any activity governed by the Arkansas Athletic Association.
Amendment number 1 was withdrawn on March 16, 2011. Amendment number 2 was adopted, read and reported as correctly engrossed and sent back to the Education Committee.
I have an issue with amendment number 2. It changed the wording on page 2, line 36 to the following:
“Demonstrate educational progress by scoring at grade-level or above on a norm-referenced standardized test in mathematics, English, science and social studies, each semester that the student participates in an interscholastic activity;”
The above wording could mean that homeschoolers who want to participate in sports on a public school team will be subject to standardized testing every semester that they want to participate in sports. Additionally, the bill requires testing in subjects other than math and English, something that public school kids are not subjected to.
I think that this is putting way too much regulation on homeschoolers. Currently homeschoolers in grades 3 through 9 take standardized tests in math and English. The state of Arkansas pays for this testing. If homeschoolers are supposed to test every semester if their kids want to participate in interscholastic activities then the state should pay for the additional testing and public school students should have to be subjected to the same requirements.
Let me know what you think