Homeschooled and private-school students across Ohio now have the right to play on sports teams and participate in other extracurricular activities thanks to a provision in the new state budget.
Previously, each local school board came up with its own policy on the issue.
Athletic and other extracurricular associations have their own rules about student participation in competitive or inter-scholastic activities. This provisions in the state budget override those rules.
Under the new provisions, public schools must allow private-school students to participate in an extracurricular activity only if their private schools do not offer the same activity.And both homeschooled and private-school students must meet the same age and grade requirements as district students and pay the same fees, if any are required.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association isn’t thrilled about the changes. The changes go against the principles that help sports contribute to positive “educational outcomes,” the association says:
Included among these desirable educational outcomes are the instilment of the notion of citizenship, loyalty and school spirit, the building of a cohesive student body, the promotion of amateurism by drawing athletes from the school’s population only which, in turn, discourages an overemphasis on sports, avoids “team shopping,” keeps in proper perspective the relationships among student-athletes and coaches and secures role models for other students.
The state budget also allows homeschooled students to fully participate in Ohio’s Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program. The program allow students to enroll in college courses while in high school for both high-school and college credit. The state pays for the cost of the courses.
The program is already open to private-school students.