Some Educators Express Opposition To “Tebow Bill”

MADISON, Ala.(WHNT) – Some area principals and superintendents are expressing their opposition to a bill that would let homeschool athletes compete for their local public high school.

HB 503, better known as the “Tim Tebow Act”, has already been approved by a committee at the Alabama House and now awaits a vote on the floor. HB 503 is named after former Florida quarterback and Heisman Winner Tim Tebow, who famously led his high school to a state championship during his senior year while being homeschooled.  Twenty-nine other states already have similar versions of the Tebow Act, but not Alabama.

Bob Jones High School Principal Robby Parker said he and other educators traveled to Montgomery last week to voice their concerns over the bill, which he believes creates an uneven playing field between homeschool and traditional students. Parker said questions over differing standards on coursework and daily scheduling were among the concerns raised with lawmakers.

“There certainly will be a different standard for students who are not here in the daily grind every day,” said Parker. “They [Bob Jones students] are in class with their nose to the grindstone with very rigorous academic standards from 8:15 to 3:27 every day. Students that are not here may have the opportunity to take a class in the morning, go out and shoot some hoops, go to the weight room, do whatever they want to do…  I love Tim Tebow, I’m a Tim Tebow fan… I don’t believe this is the best thing for our students at Bob Jones.”

Proponents of the Tebow Bill say homeschool families pay taxes that fund schools like everyone else, and deserve equal access to athletic opportunities. The AEA and Alabama High School Athletic Association have tried to block similar legislation in the past, arguing that it would take away team slots for public school students.

10 comments

  • Jim M

    I would have to agree about the Tax issue. They pay tax regardless of whether they attend school or not. Dont make them pay school taxes if they dont put their kids in school or let their kids play sports. Its only fair. If the kids went to the school they are zoned for they would compete for the spot anyway. I can see the principals point about their schedules. That is valid but they do pay taxes..So in my opinion unless they are not taxed then they should be able to play/compete..

    • Charles Bavar

      i agree it is more about the money than, the system will think. because if this passes, more student will drop out and go to home schooling. and the school system get fed. fund for every child that attend their school. the school systems would lose funds. or is it because the buddy buddy system, would not work. the rich kids or more popular kid that tried out would be in danger of not getting to play. but , i agree with Jim if the home school parents are having to pay school tax then their kid should be able to play sports or at least be able not to pay the school tax. one or the other. it is that simple.

  • Carter Bates

    Not only do home school parents pay taxes that go to fund public education but the educators are assuming that home school students don’t work as hard as public school students which, in my opinion, is extremely offensive. Home school students have to meet state education requirements and in many cases are managed by a legally accepted private school. In addition, they have to take the same SAT and ACT exams as any other student in order to enter a public university. There is very little evidence that a public school education is any better than a private school or home school education. As a matter of fact, there is evidence to the contrary.

    • screw aarp

      John, this whole thing is about the govt. employees, this is not about the kids, you have govt. run schools with govt. employees , and the govt run schools in alabama are 42nd in the U.S., VERY SAD ! the tax payers of Alabama or NOT getting their return on investment!

  • be mellow

    I don’t know about Bob Jones but at Madison County High School the students most definitely are NOT “in class with their nose to the grindstone with very rigorous academic standards from 8:15 to 3:27 every day.” I am sure that Madison County High is pretty much typical of public schools in Alabama and the rest of the country with its frankly pathetic academic standards.

  • JOHN DOE

    I wonder what the opponents of the bill would say to allowing homeschool parents to opt out of paying taxes. I just wonder how consistent the govt employees are.

    I bet if I walked through their hallways the students wouldn’t have “their noses to the grind stone. “

  • Michael

    “They [Bob Jones students] are in class with their nose to the grindstone with very rigorous academic standards from 8:15 to 3:27 every day. Students that are not here may have the opportunity to take a class in the morning, go out and shoot some hoops, go to the weight room, do whatever they want to do…”

    I was on the basketball team for four years at a local public high school and we shot hoops and lifted weights during school hours every day. Had a 7-period system and 2 of them were for those activities. I don’t know how BJ is setup but I doubt those kids are working 7 hours straight every day.

  • Rich D.

    Sadly, the BOTTOM LINE here is that the schools get paid for each kid in a desk, and they want those kids in desks. Not to mention the fact that most homeschooled kids score exponentially better on standardized tests, without wasting all those hours in a desk while the teacher has to coddle the bottom kid in the class who is sleeping or acting out. Homeschoolers have the opportunity to learn in the morning, “shoot hoops” in the afternoon, and yet they are indeed still academically superior to their peers who are watching videos on their cell phones while the teacher fills out CLB paperwork. Let’s be honest and stop the nonsense. Being a teacher myself, I can tell you that I am pressured to pass everyone in the room no matter what because the school loses funds for kids who fail. I was made to pass an athlete who was in my high school class 18 DAYS an entire semester because the team needed his talent. This is merely circling the wagons around the dirty little secrets of the failing system and has nothing to do with protecting the high and lofty standards of the local school. I dare anyone to give the homeschool kids the same tests that the public school kids get and then try making this argument. What a joke.

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