Senate flunks home-school bill

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Senators refused to give a passing grade Wednesday to a bill that would have required public schools to allow home-school students to participate in sports and activities.

SB61 failed 16-13 after some lawmakers said they felt it would give home-school students an unfair advantage. The bill would have required home-school students to demonstrate academic eligibility by submitting an affidavit signed by the person providing instruction.

Sen. Karen Morgan, D-Salt Lake City, said it wouldn't be fair to simply require a signature from parents for home-school students to participate when public school students have to achieve certain grades.

Bill sponsor Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Lehi, said he had hoped the bill would pass so home-school students couldn't be excluded from sports and activities. He said not all schools now allow home-school students to participate because of the way they interpret current law.

He said the bill would have given home-school students, "an opportunity to participate in activities their parents are paying for through property and income taxes."

--Lisa Schencker