Ever wonder what happens to home schooled kids regarding Sports, Band, and Drama Club? How can they participate if they aren’t enrolled in the school district? Should they miss out on some of those great bonding experiences?
Now they don’t have to
With the passing of the new state budget in June, this new rule, which goes into effect at the end of September, will allow both home schooled, and private school students to be eligible to participate in their school districts extra curricular activities, starting with this fall season.
How does this differ from what was already in place?…. Before the State of Ohio passed its budget in June, these home schooled and private school students still had some options as far as extra curricular activities. Local school boards had the option to except home schoolers into these programs, but the student had to enroll in a least one class in that school district. The new budget now guarantees them that right, AND they don’t even have to enroll in a single class. As far as private school students go, same thing applies, however, the extra curricular activity they want to be involved in cannot be offered by the school they attend.
One more interesting twist to the new rule…. The new statute also entailed one more issue that may be the most controversial of them all. It allows both home schooled students and private school students to apply for these activities to ANY school district, not just their own. Private school students will be limited to those activities that don’t include sports, dance, or drama.
Superintendent of Highland Local Schools Catherine Aukerman, in a quote to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, opposes the new rule:
“The law forces districts that don’t offer open enrollment to institute an open enrollment policy regarding sports and extra-curricular activities. This type of policy should really be left to the discretion of local school districts.”
The author of the bill, Rep. Dave Hall from Millersburg, has a different take on the statute:
“Allowing home-schoolers to participate is a fairness issue for parents already paying school property taxes. Having home-schooled children interact with public school kids will help eliminate some myths about each group and generate new friendships.”
Concerns about eligibility and “team stacking”…. The two HUGE concerns from opponents of the new bill concern eligibility and “super teams” being formed. On the topic of eligibility, how can school districts reasonably interpret grades and classes from home schooled students? Since these students have no grading periods so to speak, how is their eligibility determined? Another “Pandora’s Box” being opened concerns players “stacking” their teams. How so? If I am enrolled in School A, and all my friends from another school district are enrolled in School B, what is stopping me, as an athlete, trumpet player, or member of the show choir, to announce that I want to be home schooled so I can play my extracurricular activities with School B? As of right now, there is nothing.
There are certainty many things to work through to make this a smooth transition for both the students and each school district.
Time will tell if this will turn out to be groundbreaking or a disaster