For some time, homeschooling families have lobbied New York lawmakers to treat homeschooled students fairly in regard to sports participation.
Bill S.5472-A-Martinez/A.706-A-Stirpe would allow public school districts, in their discretion, to permit homeschooled students to try out for and participate in interscholastic sports. The bill would require such homeschooled students to meet school district requirements regarding age, immunizations, behavior, and performance; it would further require that homeschooled students compete only for teams in the school districts where they reside.
This bill is a matter of basic fairness and common sense. There is simply no valid reason that home-schooled students—whose parents, whether directly or indirectly, pay school taxes—should be excluded from participation in interscholastic sports simply because their parents have chosen to educate them at home. While NYCF would prefer that the bill require school districts to let homeschoolers participate in sports, the current version of the bill is still a step forward.
Previous versions of this bill passed the New York State Senate in 2015 and 2018, respectively. At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we believe that the Interscholastic Sports Fairness for Homeschoolers Bill should become law in 2020.