Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Homeschoolers denied participation in public school activities?

Posted Friday, June 17, 2011, at 2:41 PM
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  • I would like to know the logic behind their decision to exclude these children. If they are residence of the county it seems they should have the same rights as the others students their age as long as they are held to the academic standards. I would hate to think it was for no other reason than the parents choice to home school. DO the students of private schools get to participate in the activities or are they ban also?

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Jun 17, 2011, at 3:01 PM
  • If the parents pay taxes in the county, esp. property taxes, then they should be allowed to participate in after school activities.

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Jun 17, 2011, at 3:37 PM
  • My only concern is with the determination for eligibility based on grades.

    -- Posted by Tinaw on Fri, Jun 17, 2011, at 5:45 PM
  • My understanding of home schooling (which is limited)is that the students are tested regularly to track their progress.

    Are they not relieving some of the pressure on the education system and saving the county money, or does the county not get as much because they are not enrolled in a public school?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jun 17, 2011, at 7:16 PM
  • Are they evaluated with the same frequency over comparable material?

    -- Posted by Tinaw on Fri, Jun 17, 2011, at 9:03 PM
  • That is my understanding, but I am sure there are some home schoolers out there. Maybe they could clarify??

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jun 17, 2011, at 10:36 PM
  • I think it would be important to know how the sports teams are funded. If they are funded through the money per enrolled child that each school district gets from the state/federal government, then it stands to reason that homeschooled children would not be eligible.

    Also would they be required to participate in the sports programs of the school for which they area zoned?

    -- Posted by gottago on Sun, Jun 19, 2011, at 11:48 AM
  • Good thought gottago, I think it would be fair to assign them to the school they are zoned. This would avoid any super talented from being "courted" by other schools.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 19, 2011, at 11:56 AM
  • I do home school my children and have done so for the past few years. I can sum up some of the questions and comments here.

    *First, we are independent homeschoolers for right now, which means we are registered with the BOE. The Board of Education gets $100 for "record keeping", which I don't know what records they are keeping except for the attendance records I turn in at the end of the year and the intent to home school sheet at the beginning of the year.

    *Secondly, Bedford County is not a very home school friendly county, so this ruling doesn't surprise me at all. Most counties have one person whose job is to deal with just homeschoolers. However, the person in charge in Bedford county is very rarely in his office, and very very rarely returns phone calls. However for an example, Memphis has been allowing home school children to join their teams for a few years before TSSAA made this recent ruling. I see Bedford County's ruling as pretty much a complaint against those who home school. Because all they get is $100 is the child is registered with them. If they register with a umbrella school, then they no longer receive any money from the state for that child. Or maybe it could be that home school children do better on the state test? But again, it doesn't really surprise me.

    *If a homeschooler wanted to join a public school team, they have to join the school that they would normally be assigned to. As how the public sport teams are funded, they are funded partly from government money and the other half is from the PTA, fundraising, etc.

    *We do pay property tax, which goes to fund the public school system, which I get absolutely no use from. But I would rather home school my children and know that they are being taught instead of having constant movie days and such. I would rather home school my children knowing that they are safe instead of sending them to school where they could be attacked physically or sexually.

    -- Posted by PrpleHze on Mon, Jun 20, 2011, at 7:46 AM
  • Testing for us (TCAP) is only required for the 5th, 7th, and 9th grades. But after the new law has passed, testing is required, I believe, for every grade of high school. As well as the changing of the law stating that you can now home school your children throughout high school as long as you have a GED or high school diploma.

    However, I do test my children every year, by using the practice TCAP tests that you can get on TN's website. So that way I know what they remember and know and what needs to be worked on. We also have several tests throughout the year, just like the public school children. Spelling test on Fridays - Spanish test every other Friday - Math, History, Science and Language Arts test whenever we are done with specific parts. However these "personal" tests are not required by law, but I do it to make sure my children know what they are learning. But unlike the public teachers, I don't teach them the test; I write the test depending on what they have learned.

    -- Posted by PrpleHze on Mon, Jun 20, 2011, at 7:55 AM
  • Thanks PrpleHze. I would think that paying taxes and putting no further burden on the school system could justify your children's involvement in extra curriculum activities.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jun 20, 2011, at 8:22 AM
  • Public Students' eligiblility was based on six weeks grades when my kids were in school. If home-schooled students are not tested with the same frequency and on the same material, then I don't see how their eligibility can be determined. I just think it should be fair and equal. I am not going to use this blog to debate which education is better--just that public school students shouldn't be made ineligible based on grades if home-schooled students are allowed to participate but aren't graded equally.

    -- Posted by Tinaw on Mon, Jun 20, 2011, at 11:22 AM
  • The simple act of paying property taxes does not mean that a particular child is 'accounted for' in terms of funding. Each school gets x number of dollars per each child enrolled and THAT money helps, but doesn't fully fund, sports programs. While I doubt that that money goes for uniform purchase, equipment purchase, etc I would think that it does help in maintainence of facilities, coach salary, etc.

    With that said, I do believe that if there are spots available home-schooled children should be given opportunity to participate. Maybe a small fee of $300-$500 per year would be appropriate. But I certainly believe that students of a particular school be given preference. After all, inter-mural sports exist as an extension of the student body and are meant to create a sense of school spirit.

    -- Posted by gottago on Mon, Jun 20, 2011, at 11:37 AM
  • Here is my take on it:


    Oh and gottago, according to Matthew Gillespie, the TSSAA's assistant executive director, "districts may charge up to $300 PER SPORT for homeschooled students [who participate]."

    -- Posted by shawna.jones on Mon, Jun 20, 2011, at 1:44 PM
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