Parents want home-school students in public-school activities

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JEFFERSON CITY - State Representative Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield) introduced House Bill No. 232 Thursday which would give an equal opportunity to home-school students to participate in public school activities. 

Currently twenty-seven states allow home-school students to participate in public school sporting activities but Missouri is not one of them. 

Haahr is pushing to bring Missouri in.

"Some students don't learn best in a classroom setting, they may have certain individual personal limitations that work better to be home-schooled," Haahr said. "Those same students, their parents pay property taxes to the local school districts, and yet they don't have the opportunity participate in sports."

Parent Joe Biron has four children who are home-schooled and feels like they should be given the same opportunities as students who attend local schools. 

"We're paying our taxes, yet our children can't partake in school activities. I'm still paying the salary of the coaches, the principal, superintendent and the teachers, but yet my children don't attend that school so they can't partake in the sports, and I don't think that's right," Biron said. 

12-year-old home-school student Isaiah Craft testified to a house committee Thursday and said he would really like a chance to play football while not having to attend a local school. 

The bill states students would still have to have the same academic achievements as public school students and still would need to go through the same policies regarding registration, age, and performance but just to be given the opportunity to try out. 

One representative from the Missouri State High School Activities Association testified against the bill. The reason given was the association can't confirm the standards of home-school students like it can public-school students.