A South Carolina House of Representatives committee voted against a bill last week that would have allowed private school students to participate in public school sports in certain circumstances.
The House committee on education and public works voted 8-8 on the bill on April 14, according to The Associated Press, which prevented it from moving forward. Had it passed, any private school students within the attendance boundaries of a public school would have been allowed to join sports teams there if their own school did not offer the sport in which they were interested. The private school students would have needed to remain academically eligible and would have been “required to fulfill the same responsibilities and standards of behavior, including practice requirements,” as other students on the team.
In June 2012, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley signed a law allowing home-schooled to participate in public school sports (among other extracurricular activities) so long as they had been home-schooled for a full academic year. This proposed legislation simply would have amended that law to include private school students.
Supporters of the legislation offered an amended version of the bill to restrict its eligibility to just middle school sports. According to the AP, “Rep. Tommy Stringer, R-Greer, said the amendment was geared for students who intend to transfer and play for their public high school but need to qualify in middle school.” That amendment also failed to pick up the necessary votes, finishing 8-8.
A similar bill was introduced in the state Senate at the beginning of April, and has since been referred to the Senate committee on education. Given the bill’s lack of success in the House education committee, however, it’s difficult to imagine this bill gaining enough traction to move all the way through the legislative process.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.