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'Time Out' For Tebow Bill - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

'Time Out' For Tebow Bill

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A bill to allow home-schooled kids to play public school sports in Virginia will take another time out. Albemarle Delegate Rob Bell's so-called "Tebow Bill" died during a Senate committee hearing Thursday.

The bill is called the "Tebow Bill" after football star Tim Tebow, a home-school student who found his calling playing high school sports. The bill has become an annual mainstay on the Virginia General Assembly docket.

In Bell's words, the bill would give school districts the option to allow home-schoolers to try out for public school teams. But it would also prohibit schools from joining organizations like the Virginia High School League, which regulates interscholastic competition between Virginia's public schools. That's something that doesn't sit well with Republican Senator Harry Blevins.

"The league was started to make fair competition for all the students, everybody.  Whatever school you're in, you're going to have to have all of those rules. You're going to have to abide by them, you're going to have to have passing grades, five subjects," Blevins said.

Many opponents say the bill would create an unlevel playing field for home-schooled athletes, who aren't always held to the same course load or grading standards as their public school counterparts.

Again this year, the bill died with a 7-8 vote in the Senate Education and Health committee. But Bell says he isn't giving up.

"We're going to try to change hearts. I've told everybody, you've got a whole year to go meet with them, to try to convince them that home-schoolers are just students who are getting education by a different way," Bell said. "They're following the law, they're passing the tests they have to pass, they should get the opportunity to try out for the local team."

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