School Choice Update
For those of you who are interested in S149--the Equal Access or Tim Tebow bill--here is the current status. Please be aware that, while the primary concern is for athletics, this new law covers ALL extracurricular activities from second grade up.
For those of you who are interested in S149--the Equal Access or Tim Tebow bill--this is the current status. Please be aware that, while the primary concern is for athletics, this new law covers ALL extracurricular activities from second grade up.
- Please download a copy of the law so that you can read it for yourself and know what it says. Unlike many laws, this one is quite simple and straightforward.
- Please understand that this is new ground for everyone. It is a work in progress and we all need to be very patient with each other, especially during this first year as both sides work through compliance.
- Please remember that many of the schools still don't understand all that is involved with this law. The best place to ask questions concerning athletics is at the High School Athletic League office. You can find information about them at www.schsl.org. Just send an email with your specific question.
- Please remember there are requirements for every sport that include pre-season training sessions. Please know the schedule for the sport you are interested in participating in. Those dates are listed on the SCHSL website also. You cannot expect to walk in the first of October to play basketball if everyone else has been working out since early summer. The process of notification of pre season workouts and the actual try out dates for each sport are the sole responsibility of the parent and athlete. Often times they are posted on the schoolís website. Better yet, email or call the AD or coach.
- Please understand that there are forms that need to be filled out. These are normal forms that everyone no matter where they attend school is required to fill out. You MUST fill out an intent to participate form-this is attached for your convenience. This form is located on the SC High School League website (listed above) as well as each countyís website. This form must be in the hands of the respective county superintendent BEFORE the beginning date of each sport. Parents should expect that home schooled students should be treated just as any other student. We are not seeking special treatment. Therefore, please do not take these forms as a personal affront. Having a cooperative attitude will go a long way in making this workwhile both parties work through compliance and transition issues. While the High School Athletic League will have a basic form, each county could develop its' own forms. It would be best to check your particular county. The form for Greenville county can be accessed from the countyís website.
- In order to assure legal verification and academic eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities, parents must request a letter from their accountability group stating the student is legally home schooled in the state of SC. The accountability group will respond to the public schools request by providing this information on accountability group letter head and signed by the head of the accountability group. This letter will verify that the student was legally homeschooled in SC for at least a year prior to the request. Parents must also ensure academic eligibility by presenting a grade report form to the school. A sample grade reporting form is included on www.Palmettofamily.org 's site. You do not have to use this but it may help in your communication with district ADís.
Before sending your student to try out, go watch the team play if at all possible. Do an honest self evaluation after watching to determine if your son or daughter has a chance at making the team. If you have further questions, please contact SCHEA here. Notes from the SCHL webinar about S149 are posted on the (SCHEA website) We will do our best to help you maximize this opportunity.
With input from the SC Association of School Administrators and the SC High School League, we have updated the form a student may use to inform their local School District Superintendent of their intent to participate in interscholastic activities. A copy of the updated form is attached and may be accessed at here.
Students may visit the South Carolina High School League website to view a calendar of dates and deadlines for participation in sports for the upcoming school year. An important date to note is July 27th as this is the first date permitted for practice for fall sports (see SCHSL). It is the student's responsibility to notify the school district superintendent before this date, attend initial tryouts/practices, and provide the coach/school with any additional information or documentation necessary to verify the student's eligibility to compete.
On the last day of the legislative session, when it became apparent that the Senate would not take up the School Choice Bill , this statement was recorded in the Senate Journal.
Statement by Senators BRYANT, GROOMS, BRIGHT, DAVIS, ROSE, SHOOPMAN and VERDIN
School Choice Journal Statement
We were unable today, on the last day of Session, to compel a vote on providing tax credits to parents who wish to choose the appropriate educational setting for their children. We have watched this year, and for many years, this General Assembly pass out tax credits for everything from solar panels to restricting development on your own property.
The General Assembly never misses a chance to give out taxpayer money to a group with a catchy idea or good lobbyist. The General Assembly routinely and adamantly refuses, however, to allow parents to keep their own money to help their own children.
The insult that the General Assembly adds to the injury, however, comes in the shim sham that we see every time we try even to get a vote on the issue. Opponents of parents who want a different educational choice for their children apparently do not even deserve the respect that we give proponents of a new license plate or advocates of a new state symbol. These tax credits will benefit families trapped in poverty and families with handicapped children. And too many politicians want to claim their support of the issue but don't ever have to vote on it.
We are proud to vote for school choice. We are not ashamed to support the issue. We will continue to fight for parents and their children who simply want a better education. Next year, we will have a vote.