CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate Education Committee passed its first bill of the 60-day regular session Thursday afternoon and it was a bill that passed last year, the Tim Tebow bill.

Mike Romano

The bill would allow home-schooled students to participate in public school sports.

Last year’s bill, which passed the legislature on the final night of the regular session, was vetoed by Gov. Jim Justice. It only provided a path for home-schooled students to participate in public school athletics and extracurricular activities, but the Senate amended it to include kids from private or religious schools that don’t sponsor sports. That’s the version Justice considered and rejected.

This year’s bill (SB 130) was successfully amended three times Thursday by Senator Mike Romano (D-Harrison). The activities sought for participation must be under the state Secondary Schools Activities Commission. The student can only participate at a school in his or her attendance area and the student would fall under the same disciplinary procedures as public school students.

The committee rejected a motion by Senator Bob Beach (D-Monongalia) to make the proposal a pilot program in six counties for three years.

The bill now goes to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

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