Senators Anthony Bucco and Steven Oroho are sponsoring S3043 (click here to read the text), legislation that, according to a Senate release announcing its successful passage through the Democrat-controlled Senate Education Committee, would compel New Jersey’s school districts “to allow qualified charter, vocational and home-schooled students the chance to participate in district sports programs” without further qualification.
Eligible students would be those residing in the district and meeting all pre-existing requirements (age, physical examinations, academic requirements, etc.) promulgated by the school district. Home schoolers must demonstrate that they’re receiving a “equivalent instruction elsewhere than at school pursuant to N.J.S.18A:38-25.”
Charter and county vocational school students may only participate if their school doesn’t offer that particular sport. There’s no provision in this bill for parochial school students whose school may lack a comprehensive sports program. Parents would be solely responsible for special transportation accommodations.
“Children, regardless of ZIP code or school choice, should have equal opportunities to participate in publicly funded school athletics,” Sen. Bucco said. “This is a fairness issue that families in my district, Senator Oroho’s district and others across the state are trying to overcome. This legislation provides a common-sense solution.”
“School sports are an important and transformative part of many students’ lives,” added Sen. Oroho. “The valuable life lessons, like the importance of teamwork, sacrifice and dedication, that I learned on my high school’s football field still have an impact to this day and are the same ones I passed on to students as a coach. This bill gives more children, and their parents who pay the same taxes as everyone else, that same opportunity to receive the many benefits of belonging to a team.”
Many liberals will complain that those who refuse to avail themselves of public education shouldn’t, in turn, be permitted to selectively avail themselves of the benefits. We know that they HATE private school in all of its many forms.
My simple but unassailable retort: these parents are universally funding public education, regardless of whether they’re sending their kids to public school, by paying the nation’s highest property taxes.
Game, set, match. Get it done.