May 3, 2013

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dee Black assists members with questions and issues regarding Tennessee homeschool law. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Sports Eligibility Bill Passed

On April 19, 2013, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law Senate Bill 240, adding a new subsection to the homeschool statute for students’ participation in interscholastic athletic competition in public schools. The new law does not pave the way for homeschoolers to play sports but ensures that local education agencies will abide by the eligibility rules for homeschool students established by any association to which the LEA belongs. In other words, if the association establishes eligibility rules for homeschool students, the LEA is required to permit these students to participate in the sports activity. This does not guarantee that a student trying out for a team will make the team, only that he or she will have the opportunity to do so. Further, the new law does not obligate the association governing eligibility to establish any rules authorizing homeschoolers to participate in sports. It may simply decline to do so, in which case the homeschoolers would remain ineligible to participate through any LEA belonging to the association.

The new law goes into effect July 1, 2013. Accordingly, it will apply to participation in extracurricular athletics beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.