30. Impact on Homeschooling Freedoms of Homeschoolers’ Qualifying for Public School Sports Teams (5/98)

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Whereas homeschoolers have regained significant freedom of thought and belief by working to establish and maintain ourselves as private schools independent of public schools; and

Whereas Wisconsin has a reasonable homeschooling law that homeschoolers have worked hard to get passed and to maintain; and

Whereas homeschoolers are a very small minority but large and powerful interest groups are pressing for increased state regulation of homeschooling; and

Whereas, in order for Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) rules to be changed so that homeschoolers could participate on public school sports teams, homeschools would have to comply with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI)’s policies and regulations, including the DPI’s definition of a full-time student, standards for acceptable curriculum, determinations of scholastic standing in terms of grades and credits through testing, and other demonstrations of qualifications that are consistent with public school standards and approaches to education; and

Whereas if just a few homeschoolers convinced the WIAA to change its rules to allow homeschoolers to play on public school teams, this would result in state oversight and intrusion into homeschools; and

Whereas, once in place, such state regulation of homeschools could easily spread to other areas of homeschooling and over time to all homeschoolers; and

Whereas young people who want to play sports can either choose from among opportunities available outside public schools or can enroll in public schools, but families who want to homeschool can only do so under the laws and regulations of the state of Wisconsin (which would be less favorable to homeschoolers if WIAA rules were changed to allow homeschoolers to play on public school sports teams);

Be it resolved by members of the Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA will continue to work through its members to maintain Wisconsin’s reasonable homeschooling law and will oppose initiatives that would increase state regulation of homeschooling in exchange for the opportunity for a few homeschoolers (who were interested and judged to be qualified) to play on public school sports teams; and

Be it further resolved that WPA will work through its members to inform parents and the general public and legislators of the unacceptability and risks of such initiatives. 5/98

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