House committee OKs bill allowing home-schooled students to participate in public school activities

By Hannah Knight

JEFFERSON CITY — Home-schooled students would be able to participate in extra-curricular activities under legislation passed by a Missouri House committee.

The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee heard testimony last week concerning legislation that would require public schools to give home-schooled students the opportunity to participate in any sport or club sponsored by the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

Supporters of the legislation said they hope the bill will begin to bridge the gap between the public school and home-schooled communities.

“With these people paying taxes, I think that they should get something for the dollars that they are contributing to the public school system,” said Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville. “This is one way we can give them some value to their dollars that they’re paying.”

Representatives who oppose the bill said they are concerned that there is no easy way to track the requirements for home-schooled individuals.

“To open it up to home schools, we don’t really have the oversight on them that I think we should,” said former teacher Rep. Ira Anders, D-Jackson County. “We don’t have oversight on their attendance. We don’t have oversight on their grade-point average or anything like that.”

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