Homeschooled in Tennessee? Now you can be a high school athlete, too.

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

As reported by the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, the House of Representatives of the state of Tennessee approved a new measure that will require all public schools to allow home schooled athletes to participate in their varsity sports programs.

Schools like Jackson County, above, could be forced to accept homeschooled athletes — Associated Press
Schools like Jackson County, above, could be forced to accept homeschooled athletes — Associated Press

The ruling, passed as SB240, mandates a decision that had previously been left up to each school independently.

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Commonly referred to as “Tebow Acts” or “Tebow Rules”, the move to incorporate home schooled athletes into the public school athletic programs has spread apace over the past two-to-four years, a period during which Tebow emerged as one of America’s most popular and marketable athletes.

Still, while the move to legislate home-schooled participation has been largely lauded as a shift toward egalitarianism, some lawmakers and officials within the Tennessee Secondary School Activities Association have questioned the law because of the effect it may have on local school board authority.

That's not to mention concerns that those who opt out of public education may find a way to take advantage of the system’s most costly fringe benefits.

Still, those concerns couldn’t slow the momentum of SB240, with Knoxville State Representative Roger Kane and others pointing to the tax revenue contributed by the parents of homeschooled children as powerful proof that they were due as many opportunities as those who attend the school itself.

“[Parents of homeschooled students] do pay taxes to the state and they do take a burden off the local school system,” Kane told the Commercial Appeal.

“This is just making it an even playing ground for everyone who is involved in sports.”

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