The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) recently filed a lawsuit against Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) on behalf of a Caleb Brown (not his real name) because the FHSAA refused to allow Caleb to play sports for a private school. Florida passed the Craig Dickinson Act in 1997 which allows homeschoolers to participate in sports programs for public and private schools. This provision is the same that gave Tim Tebow the opportunity to play high school sports before playing for the University of Florida.
If you homeschool you probably know about HSLDA. As a nonprofit, Christian based organization, the HSLDA advocates:
– On the legal front on behalf of our members
– On Capitol Hill
– In state legislatures
– In the media
– For the homeschool movement as a whole
To learn more about HSLDA, go to www.hslda.org
Eighteen states currently force public schools to allow homeschoolers access to classes or sports. These include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.
To learn more about current equal access laws including pros and cons, click here. To read the actual equal access law for the above states and several others, click here.
Colorado is one of the states that has an equal access law.
Here is the equal access law:
Colorado Revised Statutes § 22-33-104.5
Home-based education – legislative declaration – definitions – guidelines
(6) (a) If a child is participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program but also attending a public school for a portion of the school day, the school district of the public school shall be entitled to count such child in accordance with the provisions of section 22-54-103 (10) for purposes of determining pupil enrollment under the “Public School Finance Act of 1994”, article 54 of this title.
(b) (I) For purposes of this subsection (6), a child who is participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program shall have the same rights as a student enrolled in a public or private school to participate on an equal basis in any extracurricular or interscholastic activity offered by a public school or offered by a private school, at the private school’s discretion, as provided in section 22-32-116.5 and is subject to the same rules of any interscholastic organization or association of which the student’s school of participation is a member.
(II) (A) Except as provided for in sub-subparagraph (B) of this subparagraph (II), for purposes of § 22-32-116.5., the school district of attendance for a child who is participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program shall be deemed to be the school district that received the notification pursuant to paragraph (e) of subsection (3) of this section.
(B) For purposes of § 22-32-116.5., the school district of attendance for a child who withdraws from a public or private school more than fifteen days after the start of the school year and enters a non-public home-based educational program shall be the school district or private school from which the child withdrew for the remainder of that school year. If, during the remainder of that academic year, the child chooses to participate in extracurricular or interscholastic activities at the same school and was eligible for participation prior to withdrawing from the school, the child remains eligible to participate at such school.
(c) No child participating in an extracurricular or interscholastic activity pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (6) shall be considered attending the public school district where the child participates in such activity for purposes of determining pupil enrollment under paragraph (a) of this subsection (6).
(d) As used in this subsection (6), “extracurricular or interscholastic activities” shall have the same meaning as “activity” as set forth in § 22-32-116.5. (10).
(e) If any fee is collected pursuant to this subsection (6) for participation in an activity, the fee shall be used to fund the particular activity for which it is charged and shall not be expended for any other purpose.
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