Memorandum of OPPOSITION

OPPOSE A.706-A/S.5472-A, which allows home-schooled students to participate in district interscholastic sports

NYS PTA fully opposes this legislation, which would amend education law to authorize school districts to allow home-schooled students to participate in all interscholastic sports.

Home-schooled families, while fully within their parental rights to make educational decisions for their children, including keeping them out of public schools, should not be able to then pick and choose which public school activities their child participates in. It is important to note that home-schooled students already have the ability to participate in non-school setting sports, such as recreational baseball programs, club and travel sports, AAU sports, CYO sports and others.

Extracurricular activities, including interscholastic sports, are a part of a whole-child educational continuum, one that necessitates strict adherence to academic standards, attendance rules, and school district and athletic codes of conduct. While this bill purports to make similar rules for home-school children, the standards would be different, unequal and unfair to public school students.

The concept of interscholastic sports as part of the whole educational program was held appropriate by the NYS Court of Appeals in a 1996 ruling, Bradstreet v. Sobel. Further, we continue to support the NYS Education Department Bona Fide Student Regulation, which requires students to be enrolled in three courses plus physical education in order to represent their school in interscholastic athletics. For the aforementioned reasons, NYS PTA opposes this legislation, and urges its defeat.

For the aforementioned reasons, NYS PTA opposes this legislation, and urges its defeat.