Arkansas House passes bill to allow home-school students to participate in private school activities

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:21 a.m.

The Arkansas House of Representatives backed a bill Friday that would allow home-schooled students to participate in interscholastic activities at private schools.

Rep. Andy Davis, R-Little Rock, presented House Bill 1481 to the full House on behalf of his colleague, Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, saying the law is similar to the “Tim Tebow” bill the general assembly passed in 2013.

The 2017 law would allow home-schooled students to participate in activities at private schools such as athletics, fine arts programs or clubs and groups. Those students would have to meet certain requirements including minimum test scores on the Stanford Achievement Test Series and a test approved by the state Board of Education.

Home-schooled students must live within a 25 mile radius of the private school and can only participate at one campus at a time. Those youths would still have to try out for the activities, if a tryout is required, and meet the same standards as the private school students, the bill states.

Davis spoke in support of the law for a brief time Friday morning, saying, “Home-schoolers like it, private-schoolers like it.”

No other lawmaker spoke for or against the law, and Davis did not field any questions. The bill passed by a 77 to 6 margin and will next be considered by a Senate committee.