The Tim Tebow bill would allow homeschool students to participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) extracurricular activities at their local public schools, giving Texas homeschoolers more freedom than ever before. THSC is very optimistic that the bill will pass this legislative session. If it succeeds, Texas families will finally be afforded the freedom enjoyed by homeschoolers in 35 other states.

Requirements for Homeschool Students

Homeschool students are required to meet all of the same requirements in terms of “registration, age eligibility, fees, insurance, transportation, physical condition, qualifications, responsibilities, event schedules, standards of behavior, and performance.”

However, the bill protects parental authority by providing that: “The parent or person standing in parental relation to a home-schooled student is responsible for oversight of academic standards relating to the student’s participation in a league activity.”

In addition, the bill outlines eligibility requirements for the different time periods in the school year. During the first six weeks, UIL rules require that public school students demonstrate proper grade advancement to participate in UIL. The Texas Education Code specifies the STAAR test as the metric for evaluating grade advancement. Public school students are required to take up to four of these tests each year.

For homeschool students, the Tim Tebow bill permits any nationally normed assessment as proof of eligibility. Families could take the test from any provider with as many attempts as they want and present an average score only once every two years. (This requirement also prevents abuse by students who might drop out of public school with failing grades and masquerade as a homeschool student just to retain UIL eligibility).

After the first six weeks, both public school and homeschool students retain eligibility simply by passing their courses. For a homeschool student, written verification from the parent suffices to meet this requirement.

Finally, no government entity may force any changes to or impose extra requirements on a participating family’s educational program.

The Impact

A vast number of opportunities would open up to homeschool students if the Tim Tebow bill passes the Texas legislature this year. UIL activities include not only sports but also activities such as music, theater, speech and debate, creative writing, journalism and much more.

Texas homeschoolers pay property taxes to the public school system but get nothing in return. The Tim Tebow bill aims to rectify that, while requiring nothing of families who choose not to participate.

THSC truly believes that the Tim Tebow bill will pass during this legislative session, but we need your help to do it. If you agree that homeschool families should have access to activities funded by their tax dollars, please sign the Tim Tebow bill petition. Thank you for your help in Keeping Texas Families Free!

Texas State Historical Association