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Arkansas votes in favor of allowing home school students to play high school sports

Jonathan Wall
Prep Rally

The high school sports landscape in Arkansas is about to change, after the Arkansas Activities Association voted on Wednesday to allow home school students the chance to play on high school teams starting with the 2013-2014 school year.

As CBS affiliate THV-11 and other media outlets reported, home school students will have the opportunity to participate in activities and sports, so long as they are "enrolled in at least one class a day, meet standardized testing requirements and make the team."

The decision now means high school athletes will not only have to beat out their high school peers, but home school students as well. It's a ruling that will likely make for an interesting 2013-2014 sports season.

"We've heard from a lot of home school parents that they'll do whatever it takes to be able to participate," Taylor told THV-11."It's wherever the public school district where their parents reside, that's the school district they are going to be able to participate in."

As you'd expect, not everyone is on board with the decision. Shawn Cook, superintendent of Lakeside School District in Hot Springs, told Fox16.com that the ruling will likely give home school students a leg up on the competition for one reason.

"When our kids get home from an event they'll have to be at school the next morning at 8 o'clock," Cook says.  "Home school kids can sleep in, practice all day, do whatever they want to do."

Cook likely isn't the only one harboring these feelings. The fact that the "Tim Tebow Law" failed to pass in 2009 and 2011 tells you school officials weren't completely on board with the idea. But based on the 155-82 vote in favor of allowing home school students to participate in extracurricular activities, it would appear most have warmed up to the idea.

Arkansas isn't the only state preparing for a big changes. Two months ago, South Carolina passed a bill allowing home school students the chance to play on public school teams.

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