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Lawmakers have again rejected a homeschool sports bill


Governor Glenn Youngkin was elected on a platform of giving parents more choice. But, homeschool students will not be joining public school sports anytime soon.

Lawmakers have been debating the role of homeschool students in public school sports for more than a dozen years. It's a perennial discussion, although this year it’s taking place in the wake of an election that saw Republicans campaigning on the issue of giving parents more choices.

"Where it's not a level playing field is in the rural communities. So I represent Floyd County and Pulaski County. They don't have teams. They don't have rec leagues," says Freshman Delegate Marie March of Floyd County. "So we really have a problem over there where our kids can't play sports. Our only facilities are our high school facilities."

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw says sports at public schools are for public school students.

"They might have enough people to have these high school teams if everybody out there wasn't homeschooling their kids,” he says.

To which March responds, "I don't know about that."

Democrats on the Senate Education Committee rejected March's bill along with many other Republican education priorities, including a bill that would have banned what it called inherently divisive concepts from the classroom.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.