A new bill in South Carolina is definitely stirring up controversy – especially for a state that takes its sporting activities seriously. Senator Chip Campsen, Dst. 43 (R) wrote a bill that would allow home-schooled children in South Carolina to play sports at their local public schools.
So far, an educational subcommittee voted 6-3 in favor of the bill. The bill is now under debate on the Senate floor.
There are approximately 18,000 home schooled children in the state of South Carolina. Senator Campsen argues that these children, and those at charter schools, could benefit from the extra-curricular activities that public school children enjoy. He argues as well that,
"What's not fair is making the parents pay property taxes to support the school and then denying them access to activities."
Of course, there are opponents. The S.C. High School League with Commissioner Jerome Singleton says that extra-curricular activities are really part of the school, if they are sponsored by the school. They worry that opening up extra-curricular activities to home schooled children will change the flavor of the activities and that it will also create unusual recruitment tactics, with coaches recruiting home-schooled kids who aren't in their district.
The move is not without precedent. 28 states already allow home-schooled and charter school students to join in public school extracurricular activities, according to Oran Smith of the Palmetto Family Council.
Now time will tell if the hyper-sports-centered state of South Carolina will be part of the mix.