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.