“Private schools and home schools have no attendance zone and can recruit students from any area for athletic purposes,” Haterius said, reiterating Lawrence’s concerns. “All the select sports teams we have nowadays could just sign up for a private school and have an unfair advantage.
“If coaches, parents, or athletes break the rules in public school UIL, then there are consequences ranging from the forfeiture of a game, being banned from events, being unable to play for a certain amount of time, public reprimand, etc.,” Haterius said, adding, “In public schools, usually there is another job position such as teaching tied to the coaching part of the job.”
“I personally feel that public schools are a great asset for our communities and the more kids who can be served by these institutions, in whatever capacity, the better off we all are,” Kuhn said.
“We are about kids, and students who choose to pursue education in the home are an important part of the fabric of our communities and an important part of our shared future as a free society.”
Kuhn added, “We in the public schools would be wise, I think, to open our doors to anyone who wishes to be a part of the services we offer.
These are just my personal opinions. That said, any law allowing home school participation in UIL events would have to be carefully crafted to protect fairness and the integrity of competition.”
Two bills introduced in the Texas House by Rep. Harold V. Dutton Jr., of Houston, HB 1643 and HB 1374, also pertain to equal access by private and parochial school students to certain UIL-sponsored activities.
HB1374 relates to assessing fees for home-schooled students residing in a public school’s attendance area who want to participate in UIL activities along with students enrolled in the public school. This bill comes with a Legislative Budget Board fiscal note that states, “School districts would experience costs for uniforms, equipment, travel and other costs related to the participation of students in UIL activities. While districts have the authority to charge students for many of these costs, districts that do not charge all of their students for participation would not be authorized to adopt a policy that established fees for home-schooled children only.”