Local News

Bill pitches scholastic sports for home-schooled students

Posted February 26, 2009 6:18 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT

— Michelle Lewis teaches her children at home.

She says her young daughter, Kristin, is already showing promise athletically. That concerns Lewis a bit.

"I cannot imagine having to choose between home-schooling and sending her to public school just for the purpose of her playing for an interscholastic team," she said.

It's a situation Leslie Laufer already faces. Her 14-year-old son, Jon, now plays baseball for a home-school team.

"He wants to play in college. He wants to play professional baseball, and I think the exposure is important," Laufer said.
Senate Bill 259, introduced last week, would allow home-school students to play interscholastic sports at the public school closest to the their school that also has a program in that sport. It would also cover students attending public and private schools that do not have interscholastic athletic programs

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education for review.

Some, however, are opposed to the measure.

Charlie Adams, executive director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, says allowing students to play for schools they don't attend creates issues with funding, eligibility and recruiting.

"You would have people, now, that don't belong to your school, and you could entice them to come to your school to play athletics," he said.

North Carolinians for Home Education is also against the bill, fearing it would eventually force the state to impose new regulations on home schools.

"We would be in favor of allowing home-schooled students to participate in public school club sports, if there were no additional regulations that would affect home-schoolers, the NCHE's president, Spencer Mason, said in an e-mail to WRAL News.