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HB 547 - Homeschool Participation

The following amendments passed by the UIL Legislative Council to address changes implemented by 87(R) HB 547 will go into affect on August 1, 2021. 


FAQ

Does each school district get to decide whether or not to allow homeschool students to participate?
Yes
Who has the authority to determine if homeschool participation is allowed– the school board, superintendent, or athletic director?
This is a local school district decision and not under UIL jurisdiction.
I heard the decision for varsity participation needs to be made by August 1, 2021.  Is that correct?
The August 1, 2021 deadline for schools to opt to allow homeschool participation has been slightly modified based on HB547’s effective date of September 1, 2021. The August 1st deadline for schools to opt in to allow homeschool participation relates to VARSITY ATHLETICS PARTICIPATION ONLY. Schools may opt in after August 1st; however, for schools making this decision after August 1, 2021, homeschool students will not be eligible for varsity athletics participation. Those students would still be eligible for academics, music and sub-varsity athletic activities for that school year.
If a district decides to allow homeschool students to participate, can the district reverse that decision anytime in the future (and discontinue allowing homeschool students to participate)?
This is a local school district decision and not under UIL jurisdiction. However, it should be noted that altering said decision could have an impact on Reclassification and Realignment. 
If a district allows homeschool students to participate in one UIL activity, does the district need to allow homeschool students to participate in all UIL activities (athletics, academics, and fine arts)?
This is a local school district decision and not under UIL jurisdiction. However, school districts should make sure they are in compliance with the regulations outlined in the law in reference to the participation of non-enrolled students, if allowed.
What impact will allowing homeschool students to participate have on our UIL conference?
Final decisions on how this decision will impact Reclassification and Realignment for schools has not been finalized as of yet. The UIL Legislative Council has requested the UIL create an Ad Hoc Committee to discuss this issue and additional details on this process will be forthcoming.

Can homeschool students also participate in junior high UIL activities?
 According to section 33.0832 c of the Texas Education Code:

Except as provided by Subsection (i) (of TEC 33.0832, for students previously enrolled in a public school during that same school year), a public school that participates in an activity sponsored by the league may provide a non-enrolled student, who otherwise meets league eligibility standards to represent that school in a league activity, with the opportunity to participate in the activity on behalf of the school in the same manner that the school provides the opportunity to participate to students enrolled in the school.

Are homeschool students eligible to participate on varsity?
According to section 33.0832 c of the Texas Education Code: Except as provided by Subsection (i) (of TEC 33.0832, for students previously enrolled in a public school during that same school year), a public school that participates in an activity sponsored by the league may provide a non-enrolled student, who otherwise meets league eligibility standards to represent that school in a league activity, with the opportunity to participate in the activity on behalf of the school in the same manner that the school provides the opportunity to participate to students enrolled in the school.

Such students must also be in compliance with applicable UIL rules for varsity participation.

May a home school student receive instruction from a private coach outside of the 60 minute athletic period?
Section 1206: SCHOOL PRACTICE AND GAME RESTRICTIONS (d)(1) Accelerated physical education activities, calisthenics, skills, strength training or conditioning exercises may be conducted during the school year within the school day provided such activities do not exceed one regular classroom period, not to exceed 60 minutes when classes meet every day (300 minutes per week for block schedules). This provision applies to a non-enrolled (home schooled) student participating in accordance with section 33.0832 of the Texas Education Code.

If a school district offers school(s) choice (magnet schools, etc), does the home school student have the option to choose where they will participate upon first opportunity?
No. According to section 33.0832 e of the Texas Education Code: A non-enrolled student may only participate in a league activity for the school in the school district that the student would be eligible to attend based on the student's residential address. A non-enrolled student who seeks to participate in a league activity on behalf of a school shall be required to establish minimum proof of residency acceptable to the district in the same manner as an applicant to attend a school in the district under Section 25.001.
What will be the process for homeschool students to gain eligibility?  For example, will there be a homeschool PAPF form?  Will they still need to wait 15 days before they are eligible?
Homeschool students will be required to follow the same rules and procedures as any other student and will be required to complete a Previous Athletic Participation Form (PAPF) and will be subject to eligibility rules, including the 15 day rule, if applicable. If the student moved into the attendance zone within the previous 12 months, a full hearing of the DEC will be required for varsity participation. 
Can a student start participating in the middle of the school year?
As long as the school district in which the student resides has approved participation as outlined in the law and UIL rules, yes. The student would need to comply with all applicable eligibility rules prior to participation on the varsity level.
If a student begins the school year in a public school and then transitions into home schooling, could the student participate in UIL activities at the school as a non-enrolled student?
No. According to section 33.082 i of the Texas Education Code: A non-enrolled student is not authorized by this section to participate in a league activity during the remainder of any school year during which the student was previously enrolled in a public school.

Who administers the standardized test to determine eligibility for the first six weeks? Who pays for the test?
This is not a UIL decision. According to section 33.082 f and g of the Texas Education Code:

(f) The parent or person standing in parental relation to a non-enrolled student is responsible for oversight of academic standards relating to the student's participation in a league activity. As a condition of eligibility to participate in a league activity during the first six weeks of a school year, a non-enrolled student must demonstrate grade-level academic proficiency on any nationally recognized, norm-referenced assessment instrument, such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, Stanford Achievement Test, California Achievement Test, or Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills. A non-enrolled student demonstrates the required academic proficiency by achieving a composite, core, or survey score that is within the average or higher than average range of scores, as established by the applicable testing service. For purposes of this subsection, a school district shall accept assessment results administered or reported by a third party.

(g) A non-enrolled student's demonstration of academic proficiency under Subsection (f) is sufficient for purposes of that subsection for the school year in which the student achieves the required score and the subsequent school year.

Are these students allowed to practice if they are not eligible due to their standardized test score or grades?
According to No Pass No Play regulations, students are allowed to practice when they are academically ineligible. They are not allowed to travel to contests with the school and are not allowed to participate in contests or dress for contests and be part of the team.

A team sport scrimmage is considered a practice, so academically ineligible students are allowed to participate in team sport scrimmages. School districts are allowed to have more restrictive policies for their schools if they choose.


Do you have any recommendations or guidelines regarding what the fee should be to participate?
This is not a UIL decision. According to section 33.082 d of the Texas Education Code:

(d) A non-enrolled student who seeks to participate or participates in a league activity on behalf of a school is subject to the following relevant policies that apply to students enrolled in the school:

  • (1) registration for league activities;
  • (2) age eligibility;
  • (3) fees;
  • (4) insurance;
  • (5) transportation;
  • (6) physical condition;
  • (7) qualifications;
  • (8) responsibilities;
  • (9) event schedules;
  • (10) standards of behavior; and
  • (11) performance.
Will these students be allowed to participate in the athletic period during the school day? Can we require these students to participate in the athletic period during the school day?
This is not a UIL decision. According to section 33.082 d of the Texas Education Code:

(d) A non-enrolled student who seeks to participate or participates in a league activity on behalf of a school is subject to the following relevant policies that apply to students enrolled in the school:

  • (1) registration for league activities;
  • (2) age eligibility;
  • (3) fees;
  • (4) insurance;
  • (5) transportation;
  • (6) physical condition;
  • (7) qualifications;
  • (8) responsibilities;
  • (9) event schedules;
  • (10) standards of behavior; and
  • (11) performance.
May a home school student participate in both UIL basketball and home school basketball league? Or May a home school student participate in both UIL basketball and run cross country for a home school league?
No. According to sections 1207 (d) and 1208 (u) of the UIL Constitution and Contest

Rules: Section 1207: RULES, VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
(d) Unattached Participation. In any UIL member school sponsored athletic contest, meet or tournament, UIL member high school students shall not be permitted to enter unattached. The penalty for violation of this rule shall be assessed against the member school(s) in violation. This provision applies to a non-enrolled (home schooled) student participating in accordance with section 33.0832 of the Texas Education Code.

Section 1208: ATHLETIC REGULATIONS
(u)(3) Participating With Other Leagues. A UIL member school that participates in an athletic activity offered by the UIL in a non-UIL league under the auspices of any other sanctioning organization is subject to the range of penalties, up to and including suspension from UIL athletic activities. This provision applies to a non-enrolled (home schooled) student participating in accordance with section 33.0832 of the Texas Education Code.

Students are allowed to participate on non school teams and non school related activities.

Do the homeschool students need to live in the district that they participate in?  Or could they transfer to another district and play on JV for one year until they are eligible on varsity?
According to section 33.0832 e of the Texas Education Code: A non-enrolled student may only participate in a league activity for the school in the school district that the student would be eligible to attend based on the student's residential address. A non-enrolled student who seeks to participate in a league activity on behalf of a school shall be required to establish minimum proof of residency acceptable to the district in the same manner as an applicant to attend a school in the district under Section 25.001.

The student must be in compliance with Section 442: Residence in School District and Attendance Zone, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.
What options do we have if a student has code of conduct violations while participating?
This is not a UIL decision. According to section 33.082 d of the Texas Education Code:

(d) A non-enrolled student who seeks to participate or participates in a league activity on behalf of a school is subject to the following relevant policies that apply to students enrolled in the school:

  • (1) registration for league activities;
  • (2) age eligibility;
  • (3) fees;
  • (4) insurance;
  • (5) transportation;
  • (6) physical condition;
  • (7) qualifications;
  • (8) responsibilities;
  • (9) event schedules;
  • (10) standards of behavior; and
  • (11) performance.