LEXINGTON - Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner Julian Tackett has issued a response to the bill introduced by Representative Stan Lee that if passed would allow home school students to play sports for their local public school district. The proposed legislation is named after former University of Florida and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who was home schooled and allowed to play for his local high school team after legislation was passed in Florida in 1996. The Florida legislation later became known as the Tim Tebow bill, and has passed in roughly half of all states in the U.S.
Tackett’s response follows.
“Following the announcement of the bill introduced by Representative Stan Lee (R-Lexington) on Tuesday, our office has received a number of phone calls and emails from media members seeking comment. While this bill was originally reported as a measure to allow home schooled children to play athletics at the middle and high school level, the actual details are much more impactful to education-based athletics and its impact much more pervasive on our member schools. As it is currently drafted, the bill would fundamentally alter high school athletics in the state, as it would allow all nonpublic school student-athletes to attend a nonpublic school and yet compete for public schools at their discretion, if the school in which they are attending (including home school) didn’t offer a specific extracurricular activity.
This proposed act is particularly different from past acts, as it appears to offer a blanket opportunity for any nonpublic school to have its students participate in school-based sports at another school. For example, a strict read would appear to allow a student at Sayre to participate in football in their district of residence. This is much more than just a home school proposal. It should also be noted, that KHSAA guidelines only apply to high school students. Situations involving middle school students are decided at the local level.
As Representative Lee stated in his public comments, there is ample time before this bill begins to work its way through consideration and the legislative process. We certainly look forward to and welcome the discussion of this topic with Rep. Lee and all other members of the General Assembly, as well as our constituents and the KHSAA Board of Control, as we all work together for what is best for students in our Commonwealth.”
- Julian Tackett, KHSAA Commissioner