Tim Tebow Bill closer to becoming law in Texas

Tim Tebow may never play for a Texas team, but his name and legacy could have a lasting impact in Texas.

Last week, the Texas Senate passed a bill, nicknamed the Tim Tebow Bill, that would allow home schooled students to play sports at the nearby public school.

The bill, according to The Dallas Morning News, still must pass the Texas House by the end of the current legislative session. If approved, it would go into effect for the 2013-14 academic year.

It’s been dubbed the Tim Tebow Bill because Tebow took advantage of just such a situation. Tebow was home schooled but was also a star athlete at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

Other states have explored their own Tim Tebow Bills in the wake of his success. Currently, 27 states allow home school participants.

The issue has some controversial aspects to it, especially in Texas where public school proponents have fought against the inclusion of private schools in the UIL, which governs public school athletic contests in Texas.

Private schools have been able to compete in the UIL on a limited scale. Charter schools have also been admitted to the UIL. But the home school issue brings a new set of concerns.

Parents who home school their children still pay school taxes, which some say gives them the right to participate in public school activities.

Others have voiced concerns that home schooled athletes could lead to an unfair competitive advantage. For example, a student who struggles to maintain eligibility under Texas’ No Pass, No Play rules could switch to being home schooled in order to keep playing.

Even if the Tim Tebow Bill were to pass, it would probably have some strict regulation attached to it. First and foremost would be restricting home schooled athletes to competing only for schools within their public school attendance zones.

But if the Tim Tebow Bill is anything like its namesake, overcoming hurdles and controversy comes with the territory.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire