February 9, 2012

What is the argument against allowing home-schooled kids to play on high school sports teams?

"Legislation to allow home-schooled students to play varsity sports at public schools passed the Republican-controlled Virginia Assembly on Wednesday," writes the NYT as it sets up a debate — there are 7 commentators — under the topic "Should Home-Schoolers Play for High School Teams?" I guess since a "Republican-controlled" legislative house voted for it, the NYT had to phrase the question as if the presumption was against letting these kids play, but it was hard for me — without reading the essays — to think of any reason not to let the kids play. After all, their parents pay taxes, and by home schooling, they are saving the school districts money. 

Ken Tilley, executive director of the Virginia High School League, contends that "participation in school activities is a not a right, it's a privilege." To win the privilege, the kids who go to a school have to meet various requirements, some of which, like GPA and passing X number of subjects, don't align with anything the home-schooled kid can meet. Tilley also notes that there are sports programs for home-schooled kids, and we shouldn't let the best home-schooled athletes opt to play on regular school teams, because "we should be helping [those programs], not poaching from them." Poaching from them? We're talking about a human being making a choice about where to play. Tilley is picturing the action from the perspective of the people who run the teams, and — if you wake up that dying metaphor poaching — he's analogizing the student athlete to an animal that might be stolen from its proper owner.

Lawprof Michael McCann cites the argument — which he finds "unpersuasive" — that there's something wrong with a high school having a team with too many home-schoolers. If the coaches pick the best players, it might turn out that the teams are full of kids who don't go to the school. Is that a problem? Robert Ferraro, founder and chief executive officer of the National High School Coaches Association, suggests that there be a rule that the home-schoolers can only play on teams at the school that they'd attend if they weren't home-schooled.

Ferraro's suggestion sheds some light on the "poaching" issue. There could be some abuse if coaches could roam about looking for the best home-schooled athletes, and excellent athletes might choose home-schooling for the specific purpose of being able to participate as free agents in a market that could get very aggressive and that could hurt a lot of kids (and parents) who dream about sports achievement — Tim Tebow! — and undervalue schoolwork.

103 comments:

Fen said...

Well, its a no-brainer that you should live in the school district you play for, regardless of whether you are home-schooled.

And I'm laughing at the "is a not a right, it's a privilege" argument. Raise your hand if you knew a jock who's F work was promoted to C- so he could be in the State playoffs.

Harsh Pencil said...

Liberals for some reason think not sending your kid to public school is selfish and needs to be punished, rather than a great service to the rest of the community, since they don't have to pay for their education.

Matthew said...

Isn't playing sports on a team probably the best way to address the main issue people have with home schooling, which is that those students may not get to socialize enough with other students?

It's like... the best solution when we add in the "play where you live" condition.

CJinPA said...

After all, their parents pay taxes, and by home schooling, they are saving the school districts money.

That's what I used to think before I was elected to school board. In reality, the district loses the state subsidy for that child, but still has to pay the same for buildings, teachers, etc.

It would take a lot more parents pulling their kids out of school to allow the district to reduce teachers and buildings and see a savings.

Seeing Red said...

Don't Home Schoolers need a gym requirement? So if they're there, what's the diff?

Seeing Red said...

They don't get the subsidy, but they have a smaller class.

Fen said...

The basic argument has some merit, in short its: "you don't want to sit at our table through dinner, so why should be allowed to pull up a chair when dessert arrives?"

But I have to agree with HarshPencil upthread - if you read the comments over there, its clearly about punishing the "snobs" who pulled their kids out of the public indoctri-er education program.

EDH said...

How do they treat special education students who may attend an alternative program than the regular high school?

Do they exclude them?

Dan in Philly said...

IMHO, using the courts to try to limit a home schooler's team is like using a bazooka to kill a fly. Can't we just let local school boards make these kinds of decisions?

Matthew said...

"If you meet the requirements (which include among other things, bona fide student enrollment, scholarship and semester rules), than you can try out for the team, and if you make the physical cut, you've got a spot on that team. "

Spot the error!

As for this:

"What's more, allowing home-schooled students to compete on public school teams does a disservice to the strong recreational teams and to the growing number of home-school athletic programs that are cropping up across the country"

When rec-teams and home-school programs get college scouters and scholarships, then we can make a legit comparison. Unless they already do. Then, I am wrong.

Dan in Philly said...

CJinPA said...

"That's what I used to think before I was elected to school board. In reality, the district loses the state subsidy for that child, but still has to pay the same for buildings, teachers, etc. "

This is obviously true, and I'm not certain why it isn't put that way, except that most people don't understand accounting and basic economics. The marginal cost of one more child educated is almost $0.

David said...

The student newspaper at my supposedly (actually formerly) elite New England college has a vicious student editorial attacking for profit colleges. Cut through all the crappy, over literate arguments and you have a simple point: N.O.C.D. (Not our class, dear.)

BTDGreg said...

Although I don't care whether or not home schooled kids play high school sports, I do see the potential of abuse by coaches and the most unscrupulous AAU folks. If a high school athlete is failing to meet the very minimal eligibility standards to play in that school's league, just arrange for the kid to be "home schooled" to circumvent literacy and basic education. I don't know if this type of cheating has happened, but if you know enough about the shady world of elite high school sports, it seems very, very possible to me.

edutcher said...

Astounding how many privileges become rights when the Lefties want to extend the welfare class, but, when it comes to discriminating against someone who makes the Lefties look bad...

Matthew said...

"don't know if this type of cheating has happened, but if you know enough about the shady world of elite high school sports, it seems very, very possible to me."

Sounds like a separate problem that should be fixed. Because people break rule B, doesn't invalidate the value of changing rule C. Unless we just want to give up and accept that rule B exists in name only.

RonF said...

After seeing some of the things that go on in the Chicago public schools to get skilled athletes onto a particular high school's basketball team I can go along with restricting a home-school kid's participation to teams in the school district he lives in.

Otherwise, keeping home-schooled kids from playing on the local teams is just another way for the public school administrations to fight the "enemy" of home schooling. They want a monopoly on public education.

TosaGuy said...

The parents still pay property taxes to the school....or their landlord does.

TosaGuy said...

The state aid loss is the school's responsibility. The parents still pay property taxes to the school....or their landlord does.

If the school doesn't want anything to do with the kid, then they should return the property taxes.

mariner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

What BTDGreg said.

My state-bound (W00t!) kid has weekly Academic Performance forms that his teachers fill out (The famous 'Tuesday Reports') and he turns them in to the coach. I have no qualms about Home-schoolers on sports teams (I think they're in the band and orchestra, too, at West), but it's a recipe for fraud in a sport if that sport is the be-all and end-all of school identity.

That's not an argument against it, it's a point that needs to be addressed.

Fen said...

That's not an argument against it, it's a point that needs to be addressed.

Agreed. I come from Texas where High School Football is God. No way they wouldn't pervert the intent of this.

Jess said...

"That's what I used to think before I was elected to school board. In reality, the district loses the state subsidy for that child, but still has to pay the same for buildings, teachers, etc. "


I don't know how Virginia runs it. In Kansas, the local school district taxes directly, and also gets money from the state. So they might lose the state money, but would be collecting their local taxes regardless.

CJinPA said...

Seeing Red,

Yes, the class is a bit smaller, but not smaller enough to produce savings.

That said, I totally support home schooling. From family experience, and anecdotal observation, the kids seem to be better educated and adjusted than average.

They seem to be over-represented in displays of aptitude contests like spelling bees.

The Drill SGT said...

What Fen. HP and Matthew said in the first 3 posts.

- same HS you'd normaly attend
- cost savings
- social pluses

John Burgess said...

As long as the kid shows an insurance policy that excludes the school from any liability, I say let them play.

prairie wind said...

I attended a parochial school and we didn't have a band. We had a great vocal music program but no instrumental. Kids who wanted to play in band walked seven or eight blocks, carrying their instrument, to the public high school and were part of their band. Same for shop class and probably home economics, though I don't remember anyone going for home ec.

Same for the public school lunch program, too. We walked--rain or shine--a couple of blocks to the public elementary school to eat our lunches, even if we were brown-baggers.

That was back in the day when local school boards made decisions and before schools competed for federal dollars.

The Drill SGT said...

PS: the NYT here is all about punishing Christians.

CJinPA said...

Jess,

Same here in PA. The district still gets the family's local property taxes. That goes to the old debate "If I don't have kids in the schools why do I have to pay school taxes?"

It would require state law to change that.

CJinPA said...

That was back in the day when local school boards made decisions and before schools competed for federal dollars.

And those dollars come with strings attached. And voters let it happen. Every time we ask a person running for federal office what their "education platform" is, we send a little more control to Washington. Because if voters want them to address an issue that's not their responsibility, they'll come up with something. Anything. So we should stop asking.

Sidenote: In PA public schools are required to provide transportation to parochial school students...or any non-public students within 10 miles of the district.

Chip S. said...

...most people don't understand accounting and basic economics. The marginal cost of one more child educated is almost $0.

Nice example of the fallacy of composition.

You're confusing some very slight "lumpiness" in provision with zero marginal cost. If your claim were correct, costs wouldn't increase if 100 more students were added; or 1,000 for that matter.

Actual studies show that the marginal cost of a student is approximately the same as the average cost of a student, in the long run.

DADvocate said...

you should live in the school district you play for

Yes, unless that school doesn't offer the sport you want to play. In Ohio, if your school doesn't offer a sport, such as football (which lots of smaller schools don't offer), you can play at the closest school that does although you're a student at the first school.

There's plenty of "poaching" going on now. Look at the high school record of NBA player O.J. Mayo. Three high schools in three different states, KY, VA and OH. If you have a teaching degree and you have a kid who is a good basketball or football player, I can virtually guarantee you a job at my kids' public schools. I know at least two teachers who got jobs that way. I also know parents who will simply move to the school district with the best sports for their kids. Highlands High School, in Ft. Thomas, KY, is a football magnet. Over 20 state championships, the last 5 straight. Chris Collinsworths' kids went there. If you have a kid with real potential, you move somewhere that has a school like that. (Maryville and Alcoa, TN have similar legacies.0

Ann Althouse said...

"Well, its a no-brainer that you should live in the school district you play for, regardless of whether you are home-schooled."

That's not obvious.

In Wisconsin, we have "open enrollment." You can enroll in districts outside of the one where you live. As someone who's paid Madison's exorbitant property taxes for over 25 years, I find that kind of irritating. But I'm free to move.

purplepenquin said...

Looking at our budget situation I have to ask: why are public schools still offering most sports?

Get the schools completely out of it and have community leagues take care of those who wish for their kids to play football, volleyball, or Calvinball.

G Joubert said...

The NYT got "Republican" in the lede paragraph twice. That really tells you all you need to know. The public education establishment and teacher's unions, and leftists generally, hate home schooling (and charter schools too, not to mention the specter of vouchers) with a rabid passion because of the threat to their leftist monopoly, and they regard these things as conservative/Christian plots.

Here's the solution: surcharge home-schoolers an additional fee to play on the public school team in their area of residence. Win-win.

Matthew said...

"Looking at our budget situation I have to ask: why are public schools still offering most sports?

Get the schools completely out of it and have community leagues take care of those who wish for their kids to play football, volleyball, or Calvinball."

You've just passed the budget, as well as are now requiring years (to potentially generations) to build up the infrastructure and recognition high school sports have. When community leagues offer college scholarships and opportunities for poor children to go to elite universities, then this is a viable plan.

Some schools spend too much on sports, yes. But, "throw it all out" is not a valid option.

Chip S. said...

purplepenquin proposes an elegant solution.

Matthew said...

In short Purple: Why do you hate poor, talented children?

MadisonMan said...

You can enroll in districts outside of the one where you live.

You can apply for enrollment, and if there's room, they might take you.

Per WIAA rules, if your kid plays two years in a sport, he or she can't change schools unless you also move into the attendance district. Otherwise you sit a year.

traditionalguy said...

All politics is local at the HS Football level.

The penalty of no participation is a tool to protect the Education association's powers. So are Charter schools being ruled unconstitutional everywhere.

It is a war over the government
money stream, and school children are collateral damage that have no value in this high stakes game over Government Funding.

Jane said...

I sense an underlying assumption that homeschoolers are illiterate or something. I proctor 40-50 homeschoolers every year, and I'm privy to their Stanford scores. They are always WAY above the minimum requirement to get by in public school, which I think is somewhere in the 20th percentile. My own elementary homeschooled kids score well above 95%, and the time required at home to accomplish that is minimal.

There *are* academic requirements for homeschooled kids to join teams. Arguing otherwise is utterly disingenuous.

Homeschoolers are at a huge disadvantage financially. One parent is home full-time for the most part. On top of that, parents are shelling out money here and there for private lessons of all kinds. These children are financially privately schooled, without the benefit of the extra parent being free to work, or of a brick-and-mortar facility with a playing field.

Since states do not recognize homeschooling parents with any kind of subsidy for doing an EXCELLENT job in education, at a minimum allowing students to use the sports team is economic justice, if you ask me.

Chip S. said...

@Matthew--There's plenty of sports infrastructure ready to be used, right there at the public schools.

As for talented, poor athletes being denied access to independent leagues, the more likely scenario is that there'd be a bidding war for them.

Matthew said...

"As for talented, poor athletes being denied access to independent leagues, the more likely scenario is that there'd be a bidding war for them."

It's not about access to the independent leagues, it is about the opportunities that high school sports give students, such as acceptance to more prestigious high schools and colleges than their academics alone would get them. Sometimes, that is the jock getting the bump from F to C-, but sometimes it is the guy at the C- getting in over the guy with a C (or in competition with a non-athlete with a C-).

It may not be fair, but it is the situation in the real world.

Chip S. said...

It's not about access to the independent leagues, it is about the opportunities that high school sports give students, such as acceptance to more prestigious high schools and colleges than their academics alone would get them.

I don't understand this at all. If all the HS age athletes are playing in independent leagues, why won't college recruiters be able to find players there?

Baseball scouts manage to find 15-year-olds playing on sandlots in the Dominican Republic.

Matthew said...

Because there won't be an infrastructure in existence. It may spring up over night, or it may take years. The system is wonky, as is. But, fixing it is probably better than just scrapping it.

Chip S. said...

I already told you where to find the infrastructure.

It's right there in front of you.

SGT Ted said...

The most mature adolescents I have met throughout my life were always home schooled. Their role modelling never included pressure to conform to the idiocy of immature peers obsessed with pop culture and 'being cool'.

Contrary to collectivists bleating about homeschoolers missing out "socializing" with their eyebrow and nipple pierced tattoed peers, their smooth entry into adult life sans self crippling personal behaviors bears out their educations superiority to the well heeled public version, complete with a union for their employees, which routinely gives failures a passing grade each year until they graduate being illiterate.

The way schools are funded, per student physically attending the school, guarantees opposition to home schooling by the Public Education/Union Complex. Home Schoolers don't pay union dues and teach outside of the accepted wisdom of progressive propaganda masquerading as curricula.

It really all boils down to money and political power. Children are 4th or 5th down the list.

Matthew said...

Who is going to pay to upkeep those fields, stadiums, bleachers, coaches and equipment? It's not the schools.

Local regulation groups, umpires, etc. might be able to flip easily from being school sponsored to fee sponsored, but are you sure all the money can cover it?

How are you going to enforce education standards in the sports, if we take it out of the schools?

Just, logistically, how do you schedule things and get teachers to do things like allow tests to be taken on different days to work with an athlete's game schedule?

It's a lot more than just changing who runs the organization.

Rusty said...

TosaGuy said...
The state aid loss is the school's responsibility. The parents still pay property taxes to the school....or their landlord does.

If the school doesn't want anything to do with the kid, then they should return the property taxes.



thread winner.

Chip S. said...

Who is going to pay to upkeep those fields, stadiums, bleachers, coaches and equipment?

The owners, as is true of every piece of capital equipment. The facilities would be rented out rather than sold. And the costs won't be any bigger than what they already are. The difference is they won't be hidden in the "education" budget.

How are you going to enforce education standards in the sports, if we take it out of the schools?

It isn't necessary for the state to own restaurants in order to enforce minimum sanitation standards on them.

how do you schedule things and get teachers to do things like allow tests to be taken on different days to work with an athlete's game schedule?

Maybe the sports schedule would finally have to adjust to accommodate the demands of education, instead of the other way around. Otherwise, I don't see any big problem in coaches negotiating this kind of stuff with schools.

Tarzan said...

Yes they should be able to play and yes they should only be able to play on teams in the district in which they live.

Muns said...

SGT Ted,
After the last 3 springs of watching my twins in little league, it's also sorta sad to see the public school kids compete against our homeschoolers. For the most part it's pretty unfair - ya got physically fit kids used to playing outside competing against fumble fingered, uncoordinated public school kids just immerging from a winter locked inside of the local indoctrination center and chained to the video game. Poor kids – borderline child abuse that is.

Spencer & Lorilyn Crum said...

I think requiring the home-school athlete to play for the school they would normally attend is fair.

With that being said, as a former softball college athlete (Go Blue!) , I know that college coaches (outside of football) recruit from competitive leagues, not from high school leagues. That's because the kids in competitive leagues are playing all-year around, as opposed to most Varsity athletes who only play during the season. On any given highschool team, you'll have 1 to 4 all year around players and the rest just seasonal. I chose to play highschool sports not for the competition, but for the extra practice before the "real" league started, which occurred during the summer.

Yiddishe Bloyger said...

The number one reason for excluding homeschoolers from public school sports is that the school districts and the teachers unions want to use every tool available to them to punish homeschoolers. To them, it's much the same as the voucher issue: they know the public schools can't survive competition.

If Money was the issue, charge a small fee for a homeschooler to be on the team. After all, the marginal cost of adding one more kid to the team is effectively $0.

Shana said...

My kids play home school sports - basketball, volleyball, and six-man football. Two of our varsity players are committed to Div. 1 colleges next year. It is more competitive than you might think. I do worry that letting home schooled kids into public sports might cause our own programs to wither on the vine. I hope not.

One annoying thing about the NCAA is that they are very bureacratic as far as what courses they accept. They only recognize plain-vanilla, common, watered-down courses. Did your kid take four years of Great Books and philosophy instead of plain ol' English I-IV? Too bad. No athletic scholarship for you.

chuckR said...

fen said - The basic argument has some merit, in short its: "you don't want to sit at our table through dinner, so why should you be allowed to pull up a chair when dessert arrives?"
To which the homeschooler might reply: "Because the dinner chef is lousy. I can do a better job myself. The pastry and dessert chef however is pretty good." This is not necessarily a winning argument with the education establishment, though. Metaphorical difficulties.

Thorley Winston said...

The basic argument has some merit, in short its: "you don't want to sit at our table through dinner, so why should be allowed to pull up a chair when dessert arrives?"

Because as taxpayers, they’re also splitting the cheque to pay for the whole meal.

Muns said...

Shana,
Take heart, these annoyances will eventually disappear as homeschoolers take over most leadership positions in both the public and private domains. Homeschoolers will dominate in all areas that demand well educated, disciplined and principled leaders. :) I’m sorta rubbing it in … it’s sinfully fun. It’ll actually happen tho – it’s really America’s last and only hope.

Thorley Winston said...

Well, its a no-brainer that you should live in the school district you play for, regardless of whether you are home-schooled.

I have to disagree, I played sports in high school and had several team members who attended neighboring school districts. Minnesota is an open enrollment State (thank you Governor Perpich!) and allows students to attend schools from districts other than the ones in the community where they live and also allows them to play sports for teams in school districts other than where they attend. Unless there is a requirement that student athletes can only play for other districts if theirs does not offer that sport, I think the same rule should apply for home schooled children.

Jane said...

Another mark against homeschoolers is zoning. In our county, for example, we can't just borrow an empty building or sports field at will. Zoning laws for where you can allow "school children" to play or to hold group events are strict.

We stay quiet when we meet in church buildings during the week. The county would be happy to prosecute over any semblance of "school" there, even though students are allowed to attend on Sunday.

Scott M said...

Get the schools completely out of it and have community leagues take care of those who wish for their kids to play football, volleyball, or Calvinball.

Agreed. Get the schools completely out of it and have community organizations take care of those who wish for their kids to learn multi-culturalism, global warming, or Marxball.

Readin', writin', n', 'rithmetic.

Scott M said...

As for talented, poor athletes being denied access to independent leagues, the more likely scenario is that there'd be a bidding war for them.

You would end up with scholarship programs and all the problems of Division 1 college recruitment, but at the junior high level (sans the hookers...maybe).

Public high school and junior high school sports at least dilute the talent pool a bit by having people play at different schools. If you are able to grab all of the talented kids over a given area that might traditionally cover four or five school districts, you're going to have a team that will trounce anyone else in the area. They are going to be forced to compete with other like-skilled teams which incurs a lot of traveling costs. You leave the dregs to compete with the dregs.

Frankly, I don't want to watch dregs play dregs. Do you?

Freeman Hunt said...

They do much worst than keep them out of sports.

In Arkansas they recently voted in a measure that excludes them from competing for one of the state's most prestigious merit scholarships.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's all just petty power politics. Each bureaucrat wants his fiefdom to be as large and secure as possible. Therefore, anything that could entice subjects to stay within it must be preserved.

Here the arguments against allowing homeschooled children to play sports were, I kid you not: (1) Who is paying for the homeschooled kid to sit on the bus that drives the team to events? and (2) It might hurt teacher morale to have homeschooled kids mixing with the public school kids.

Scott M said...

It might hurt teacher morale to have homeschooled kids mixing with the public school kids.

That doesn't make sense. Weren't those teachers' self-esteem protected when THEY were public school students? If so, how did it not protect them for such morale onslaughts out in the real world?

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Muns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ds5929 said...

I'd say that a schools teams- don't care if it's sports,chess,or spelling-should be made up students attending that school. You don't attend Acme High, you don't' play on it's teams.

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought the morale argument was embarrassing. What does it mean if not that a teacher might have hurt feelings if a homeschooled child shows up one of the teacher's students?

Freeman Hunt said...

Additionally, a lot of children are homeschooled because the public school cannot meet their needs. So the school doesn't meet their needs, basically excluding them from the school, and then goes on to excluding them from other activities.

shirley elizabeth said...

"Here the arguments against allowing homeschooled children to play sports were, I kid you not: (1) Who is paying for the homeschooled kid to sit on the bus that drives the team to events?"

At my school, the sports fees went up every year to pay for these things. The district didn't pay for our awards and buses, our parents did. With my two sisters in HS at the same time, they paid about $300 per student for us to run our butts off in CC and track. I think there was a family ceiling, but I don't remember where, so maybe it wasn't that much.

Freeman Hunt said...

ds5929, it's not that simple. (1) The homeschooling families are paying for the schools and (2) Schools have cornered the market on such activities through use of their state power, so there are no comparable alternatives.

I have no problem with the idea that you must play for the school you'd be in if you went to school, except that this gives huge advantages to the teams of private schools. (But so it goes. If you set out to control people, and it backfires on you, oh well.)

Freeman Hunt said...

At my school, the sports fees went up every year to pay for these things. The district didn't pay for our awards and buses, our parents did.

That's what some people argued around here, "Why not just have the homeschooled kids pay activity fees?" But that didn't go, and of course it didn't. The objections aren't real objections, just smokescreens.

MadisonMan said...

Freeman, that sucks.

The sports my kids like are all individual-y, not team sports. The more competition, the better you get. If a kid is home-schooled, you really don't know, and punishing a kid for a decision made by their parents is backwards.

Ken said...

That's what I used to think before I was elected to school board. In reality, the district loses the state subsidy for that child, but still has to pay the same for buildings, teachers, etc.

This has weight only if the tax burden on the home schooled child is reduced. If you're still forcing parents to pay the full price of the public school, this parent should have access to that school regardless of how misappropriations occur once that money ends up in the hands of irresponsible bureaucrats.

All I can think of is that this is reason #21,385,731 to end the government monopoly over education and fully privatize it. These matters will then get resolved by people that it actually affects and without the need to pass a law.

Shana said...

The best feeling in the world is to take a home schooled basketball team to a big public school, listen to them yell "you suck,home schooled mamas' boys" and other more crudely phrased insults, and then proceed to shut them up by immediately hanging some three point shots on them right out of the gate and ultimately kicking their butts. Yeah, that was probably a run-on sentence, but it is kind of a stream of consciousness thing.

Shawn L. said...

Maybe we need a separation of School & Sports.

I know, there are too many generations of tradition involved, but at the little league/Pee Wee levels of sport for younger kids, teams and leagues are not organized around schools. So easy to do.

It'd also save a TON of headaches at the college level.

Joe said...

A big justification/excuse for high school sports is that it brings otherwise marginal kids to school. If high school sports exists absent any educational reason, then why have them at all?

(BTW, in my state, the amount the state pays each school is largely based on student attendance, which is why having absences excused is important.)

Cedarford said...

It's not just "athletics". The media naturally focuses on jocks over all other school activities, but there is a lot more possiblilty for home school - public school interaction besides sports of benefit to the student - rather than keep up the insistance by tenured government employees that a WALL must exist between "foolish homeschoolers" and students educated "by professionals with Masters Degrees".

There is also a good case to be made that home schoolers should be allowed to take certain classes difficult to duplicate in a home school environment - chemistry and physics labs, a language class in Chinese offered at the HS unavailable in a home schooling network.
Plus certain after school activities besides athletics all taxpayers subsidize even if they have no kids in public school..even for kids with parasitic, welfare-sucking parent(s).
Theater productions. Student Orchestra. The debate team. After school organized community service projects the school sponsors. (A home schooler cannot join public school students in doing community service in a senior care center for what reason???)

And what about the other way?? Meaning that a public school student might become aware of a superior boat and marine engine vocational education class in the homeschooling network they wish to get in if a vacancy is open and they can cover the cost.

Shana said...

Personally, I am for a separation of state, school, and sports.

As others previously mentioned, I am hit with the double whammy of paying for public ed and its sports programs, along with paying for my own kids' education and their sports programs.

Scott M said...

Maybe we need a separation of School & Sports.

Tradition aside, there's a good reason for it (much like a lot of traditional things regarding kids). There are simply things you will learn in competitive athletics that cannot be taught in a class room and they are valuable lessons.

Ken said...

Maybe we need a separation of School & Sports.

Maybe we need a separation of school and state.

Shana said...

Scott-

I completely agree with your point about the importance of sports. However, I think the schools would be able to do their jobs better if the teachers weren't being pressured not to fail the start running back, etc. If sports were just organized at the community or city level like other club sports are, I think schools could operate more efficiently. A clarification of the mission goes a long way, I think.

Bryan C said...

"Well, its a no-brainer that you should live in the school district you play for, regardless of whether you are home-schooled."

Why's that? The requirement that children can only attend certain schools is one of the most corrosive and damaging concepts in public education. I see no reason to extend it for the sake of restrict who's allowed to play a game.

Scott M said...

@Shana

That would also apply to all extracurricular activities. Granted, there's not as much pressure to pass the first-chair clarinet like sports, but I think that speaks to the community's priorities as much as the school's.

Shana said...

Pressure around here definitely tends to be sports related, lol. Usually the chess club and speech and debaters are failing their classes, either.

However, to address your point, homeschoolers have developed all sorts of privately-operated extra-curriculars. Some of my kids are involved in speech and debate, which has state and national tournaments in addition to the local one. Other kids I know are involved in huge theater groups, chess clubs, 4H, robotics clubs, choirs, etc. I don't see why it has to be attached to the school. Plus, if you think your coach or choir teacher stinks, you have the choice of changing.

Shana said...

That should have been "aren't" failing their classes.

Scott M said...

I'm certainly not against the change, I'm just weary of it being handled properly and not falling apart altogether. I have immense, healthy respect for athletic competition that's entirely separate from the "duh, jock" stereotypes and would not want my kids to miss out on those lessons because the country was in flux haphazardly changing from one system to the other.

My kids are 7, 4, and 2. If we're going to do it, do it now before it affects my kids :)

Shana said...

There is the whole convenience factor to be considered. It isn't convenient to getup at 5 to have my kids at a 7 am practice. That's where my utopian dream collapses. Heh. I like having a high level of control though, so it is a price I'm willing to pay. Most people probably aren't. However, if you had a completely privately run system, there would be as many options as can be imagined. schools with sports program, schools without. Schools that cater to gymnasts. Schools that cater to kids with Asperger's. You name it, it would probably be available.

Yiddishe Bloyger said...

At my previous home, the local elementary school had a very high immigrant population. I beleive less than 5% of parents spoke English as a first language.

A large number of immigrant families at that school had a tradition of travelling to a nation on our south border, where they would spebd the entire month of December, and some of January. Obviously most of that time was not excused, and cost the school tons of money every year. A few years ago, that school actually changed the school year so that these absences would not longer be absences.

If a school can make such concessions, then I would think they could accommodate home schoolers.

trumpetdaddy said...

Our kids are home-schooled and have played sports the whole time. Soccer, Tae Kwon Do, and ballet, among other physical activities. My wife is amazed at the stats on the news about obese kids. She always says, I don't see obese kids when our kids are around other kids." I remind her that all the kids we know are the kids on our kids sports teams/home-schooled kids. They are self-selected athletic kids by virtue of how they are being raised. Attend public schools and you'll see plenty of out-of-shape kids. It is a shame, really.

Muns said...

TrumpetDad I'll have to disagree with you. The reason your wife isn't seeing all the fat kids is because there really aren't than many more than before. The CDC changed the obesity definition in 1997 making 30 million Americans classified as obese overnight. It's pure fabrication out of whole cloth. Yeah – generally people are somewhat fatter today and kids are far lazier and unhealthy but the CDC obesity crisis is baloney. Check out Tom Naughton’s blog at http://www.fathead-movie.com/ it is superb.

Denis Navratil said...

Kids don't have to win the privilege to play sports. Ninth graders entering school in the fall play soccer, football, tennis etc.... They might lose the privilege with poor grades or behavior, but they did nothing to win it, contrary to the argument cited.

Freeman Hunt said...

These sorts of interactions with school interests tend to cool my desire to entangle my kids with them. So in the end, for me personally, perhaps it's just as well.

ken in sc said...

For three years ,I taught Industrial Technology (shop). We had a state competition—reading blue prints, following directions, using tools, using machine tools like lathes and CNC machine tools. One year, a home schooled girl won the state competition. She was not only technically competent, but she was a delightful person to know. Home schooling is not a bad thing.

Craig said...

My youngest brother was the best golfer in his school district by the time he got to 7th grade. By the time he reached 9th grade the school district had eliminated funding for golf. The school still fielded a golf team all four years for him because my brother organized a team. One other kid from the country club played and my brother talked the club golf pro into sitting down to work out an agreement with school officials. The school got free golf at designated times for half a dozen or so students who wanted to try out and the two country club kids got to compete in league competition. Transportation was worked out between the students' parents and the golf pro. My brother took third in state his senior year and now is head pro at the local country club. The dad of the other country club kid became club president. Ordinarily the school would have paid a small increment to one of their teachers to coach the team, but this was during Reagan's moaning in America years.

JAL said...

"What's more, allowing home-schooled students to compete on public school teams does a disservice to the strong recreational teams and to the growing number of home-school athletic programs that are cropping up across the country"

Since when have these guys cared about doing home schoolers' a "disservice?"

JAL said...

As for playing anywhere ... that can be a problem.

In our area there are some parents (not homeschoolers) who will go to great lengths to move their kids around to the school where they think the best HS football (for instance) is.

They will register them under their grandparents' or some other relative's address. Sometimes they will just lie.

To attend a school out of one's district normally 1) one has to have a parent working in that school system 2) have some specific issue (senior year when family has moved to a different district) or the like.

3) If a family moves out of a county one has to not only apply for permission (from both counties)for the kid to continue to attend the old (now non-residential) county, they have to pay tuition.

In our case (daughter's senior year after having attended the school system her whole life) it would have been over $1600, even though we had paid taxes in that county for 30 years, and were paying taxes in the other county.

So I would think that homeschoolers playing in their residential school district (unless they have magnet schools -- but they are not usually not high schools) would be reasonable.

Our experience.

Peter Hoh said...

The assumption that home schoolers necessarily save their school districts money is false.

Certain states have funding formulas in which money follows students. No student, no money.

iowan2 said...

Iowa has open enrollment. There are absurd strings, but that's for another time.

Why cant the parents make any decision they want? If a parent had a math genius and sought out a school with instructor(s) that could challenge the kid and advance his skills, no one thinks twice. Voice, Violin? Ditto. So whats the issue with a parent that guides a child's talents throwing the perfect left handed curve ball? While we did not focus on our child's athletic talents, some parents do. I would never ask the state to use their power to force parents to rear their children by our model. While we think we have done a pretty wonderful job of rearing our children into vital productive young adults, we are not so egotistical to think our model is the only successful model. If public schools want to be jock factories, that would be the choice of the local school board. While some would decry that decision and wail about "the children" the failure of the public schools that are being run by elites with doctorates in education are proof positive that the welfare of "the children" is no more noble than the parents that desire to maximize their child's God give physical talents.

John said...

Wikipedia sez:

"Poaching is the process of gently simmering food in liquid, generally milk, stock or wine."

I generally go along with WC Field's comments about kids. (Except my kids and grandkids) but really.

I also agree that most public schools see kids as "chow" to feed on rather than as people to be educated. We see that is someone's comments here where he said that a kid not in the school represents a loss of subsidy money.

Even so, why are we talking about cooking HS students whether educated at home or indoctrinated at a public school?

NO COOKING OF KIDS!!!!

John Henry

Yiddishe Bloyger said...

@ Peter Hoh: As other commentators have pointed out, parents of home schoolers still pay their full property taxes to the school district, regardless of whether a particular school gets funding for their spot. So homeschoolers might not be saving a particular school money, but they are definitely saving the school district money. How the district moves it's funds is its own problem.

Rusty said...

In Wisconsin, we have "open enrollment." You can enroll in districts outside of the one where you live. As someone who's paid Madison's exorbitant property taxes for over 25 years, I find that kind of irritating. But I'm free to move.


Or work to change the system.
How come private schools do better than public schools for so much less money?

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