Virginia's Senate Education and Health Committee shot down a bill Thursday that would have allowed home-schooled students to participate in public schools’ sports teams.
Committee members killed House Bill 1442 — also known as the “Tebow bill" — on a 7-8 vote, shelving it for the remainder of this legislative session.
But should the bill have reached the full Senate floor?
In a Patch blog post, Fairfax County School Board member Ryan McElveen highlighted the defeat of the bill as one of the three most important actions residents could advocate for this session as Richmond pressed on with what he called an "educational extremism."
The school board voted to advocate against the proposal, McElveen wrote, "because, in short, the bill would be unfair to current FCPS students who must comply with academic standards in order to participate."
"While the Tebow bill would require home-schooled students to meet academic benchmarks for two years before joining a team, those standards are not clear. As some have argued, public schools aren’t “a la carte”—students and their families have the choice to participate in the public school system and all of the activities it provides."
Some commenters agreed, saying "school teams should be just that - composed of students at that school."
Another commenter said residents pay taxes to schools whether their children are enrolled in the public school system or not, so "public schools should always be forced to allow non-public school children to try out for sports teams."
Others pointed out blocking the bill as a whole is stopping jurisdictions beyond Fairfax from making their own decision.
"Some school boards want to say "yes" and by opposing it, you're blocking their right to choose what to do in their community," Catherine Myers wrote.
Tell us: Should the "Tebow" policy be passed in Fairfax? In Virginia? Share your thoughts in the comments.