Representative James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) introduced HB 547, which would allow homeschooled students in Texas to compete in UIL events.
The bill’s text states that public schools competing in UIL events “shall provide a home-schooled student, who otherwise meets league eligibility standards to represent that school in a league activity, with the opportunity to participate in the activity on behalf of the school.”
The legislation would still prevent homeschooled students “previously enrolled in a public school” during a school year from being eligible to compete during the remainder of the school year.
According to the Texas Homeschool Coalition (THSC), an advocacy organization supporting the bill, there are over 350,000 homeschooled children in Texas. The organization also states that there are 35 other states which “already allow homeschool students to participate in public school interscholastic activities.” THSC has also supported similar legislation during previous legislative sessions.
According to his campaign website, Representative Frank has two children being homeschooled.
So far, this bill is one of the only ones filed by Republicans related to the issue of school choice for the upcoming session, despite the issue being listed by the Republican Party of Texas as a legislative priority. If passed, the changes would take effect beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
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