Thursday February 12th, 2015

The Tim Tebow Act has failed to pass through the Mississippi state senate, blocked by a vote of 31-17, according to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

The act, otherwise known as Senate Bill 2329, would have allowed homeschooled children to take part in extracurricular activities at public schools in their district, just as Tebow himself did in Florida in order play high school football.

Senator Joey Fillingane (R-Sumrall) argued that the bill would ensure that citizens received full provision of local services.

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"Those [homeschool] students parents are paying the same tax dollars as the parents of those who are attending public school," said Fillingane. "It is a tax fairness issue when you get down to it."

However, senators cited fairness as a reason to black the measure. Sen. Hob Bryan (D-Amory) described a scenario in which a player dismissed from a public school team for failing grades could return to the team if designated as a homeschooled student.

"[If] you're failing, you don't get to participate in extracurricular activities," said Bryan.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, no similar act has been introduced to the state's House of Representatives, meaning the bill is effectively dead unless its language is added to another act as an amendment.

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Some 15,000 of Mississippi's 500,000 school-aged children are homeschooled. Twenty-eight states have rules allowing homeschool students access to public school extracurricular activities.

- Christopher Woody

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