Rob Bell’s ‘Tebow Bill’ up for final House vote today

If Delegate Rob Bell’s HB 947 known as the “Tebow Bill” passes Virginia House of Delegates today, it will be an historic day. Never before has a homeschool sports access bill, making it possible for homeschool students to have an opportunity to try out for sports teams, made it this far in the Commonwealth’s General Assembly.

Governor Bob McDonnell (R) is for it. Delegate Rob Bell (R- 58th House) sponsored it. The Family Foundation backs it. Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) also backs it as well as the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers.

It has been a long road — years in the making. This time around it was first voted out of the House Education sub-committee, then the full House Education committee, and then it finally made it through two preliminary “readings” on the House floor. Today is the final vote and, if it passes, history will be made.

Fellow citizen journalist Sandy Sanders added his support this morning along with that of many House delegates who realize the Tebow Bill is not a threat to public school sports.

To those who have expressed concern about homeschoolers meeting academic standards that are required of public school students, that is covered. While homeschoolers do not take the SOLs, they are required to be tested annually to prove academic progress in order to continue education at home.

Homeschooled students have continually proven over the years that they can keep up with their public school peers academically. Testimony to that is the number of homeschoolers who have been spelling bee champs, who have regularly equaled or outscored public school students on SAT and ACT tests, who have received higher education scholarships, and who have scored in research, work, academia, the military, and beyond.

Twenty-two states allow homeschooler access including Florida which is where quarterback Tim Tebow’s talent was allowed to shine. Those states include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.

Sources are saying there are holdouts within the Republican delegation so parents may want to put in extra phone calls and emails to their reps before tomorrow’s vote.

For more info check out these posts:
Tebow Bill: Does House GOP back HB 947?
It’s a first! “Tebow Bill” goes to full House for vote
“Tebow Bill” seeks homeschooler access to public school sports
“Tebow Bill” for homschooler sports access advances

All eyes will be on the House today as HB 947 comes up for a vote. Will the “Tebow Bill” finally make it out of the House and across to the other side of the Capitol building?

Cross-posted at

  • I really hope this fails. If you choose to home school, then you should opt out of the benefits of public schools. As a Catholic school educated guy, I would never have dreamed of wanting a tryout with the public high school.

    If you choose to remove your child from the available public social circles and school related resources, then you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • I have a question for you: Do you think Tim Tebow, homeschooled in Florida where they have allowed homeschoolers to participate in public school sports the past 16 years, would have made it to the NFL without that opportunity to prove his talent on a public school team? By your reasoning, he should not have been alloed to participate which means he wouldn’t have led his college team to two championships, won the Heisman Trophy, or quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to this year’s playoffs….

  • Kathleen

    Shouldn’t those homeschooled students which want to try-out, at least be given the opportunity? These are the same athletes that have been playing alongside their public school teammates in local clubs, All-Star teams,& travel teams, through 8th grade, with no debate as to whether they should be eligible or not.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with Kathleen, there are often times situations where the public schools especially in VA where they are not able to properly school children especially those who fall above or below the average. Those highly academic children should be penalized? Have you looked at the situation in Mineral after the Earthquake or some in Loudoun County that are exploding in population so fast that the schools can not keep up. Parents have found 3 options, spend over 20k a year for private, leave their child bored to get into trouble or to school themselves. Many are even using fully accredited curriculums that are far more advanced. These kids should not be penalized. Some schools even allow the kids to come in for art, music, PE, language, etc and just do core and Math at home. I think its amazing that parents are willing to sacrifice so much to school their children. Remember where we all came from… And among our brightest that allowed for our country to get where we are today were homeschooled!

  • reality

    they pay taxes they should be allowed access. the end. 3 more cheers for Rob Bell VA’s best representative. Hope he makes it to Pres of the USA!

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