A Little History
In the State of Texas, paying your state property taxes does not necessarily guarantee you any rights. This is especially true for Texas homeschool families in regards to the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL) current policy for homeschool student access. The UIL currently does not allow home school students any access to their sanctioned extracurricular activities, even if the parents are paying their property taxes and are homeschooling in a legal manner.
Bernadette Ortiz, a homeschool mom from Florida, relocated to Texas and was truly shocked that her children could no longer take advantage of sports or any other extracurricular activities within the school district they pay property taxes. In the Florida UIL equivalent, Bernadette’s son wrestled competitively but after arriving in Texas, they couldn’t find any options for home school wrestling within the home school community where they live. The Ortiz’s were forced to choose between competitive wrestling and home schooling.[bctt tweet=”Parents shouldn’t be forced to choose b/w home school or opportunity! #KeepTXFamiliesFree #THSCKnowsTX” username=”thsc”]
As the only advocacy group promoting this expansion of home school opportunities, the Texas Home School Coalition continues to make UIL policy reform one of its legislative priorities. A family choosing to home school should not mean automatic discrimination. Parents, not the government, should select the extracurricular activities for their children.[bctt tweet=”Parents, not govt, should choose schools and opps for kids. #KeepTXFamiliesFree #THSCKnowsTX” username=”thsc”]
Current Texas law forces parents to decide between providing their child with the education they deem best for their child and enrichment opportunities. We don’t believe that parents should have to choose one or the other. School choice options can provide enrichment to the entire community. Surprisingly, Texas is one of the few states limiting homeschool participation in extracurricular activities in public school districts. Right now, 34 other states allow home school access to these activities.
In the event that a home school family is able to find a home school group for the activity that they are wishing to play or the activity in which they are wanting to participate, these options are often expensive and inaccessible for many home schoolers.
As a result, legislation must be drafted and passed that allows home school students access to UIL sanctioned extracurricular activities. Such legislation has been pushed by THSC for years, and the 2017 85th Texas Legislature will be no exception. THSC will continue to fight for this right next year.
UIL sanctioned activities include, but are not limited to: sports, music, art, science, and debate. Why should 350,000 Texas home school students be excluded from this?
What You Can Do
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