Many students are turning to alternative education through online, private, charter or home school programs. Do these students deserve the same rights as public school students when it comes to extracurricular, co-curricular, and interscholastic programs or activities?
Many states are creating laws, statutes and regulations to delineate the “rules” with respect to public school activities. These rulings are creating limitations or allowances for particular groups of students with respect to the differing types of activities.
Arizona for example is one state that allows all students homeschooled or online to participate in “interscholastic” activities that public school students can partake in (Arizona Revised Statue (ARS) 15-802.01).
Other states such as Arkansas (AS 6-15-509) allow online and homeschool students to participate, only if they enroll part-time as a student in the district. The minimum enrollment for many states is one course, however some do require 70 or 80 percent public school course enrollment.
Still some states, such as California (Rule 305), flat out rule against students that are not enrolled in the district participating in public education extracurricular activities. Others, like Hawaii, maintain the school or district have the authority to decide what is right for their institutions.
Not surprisingly there are some states that have very peculiar rules with regard to non-public school attending students engaging in extracurricular activities. The decision to place children in alternative schooling may be dependent on how the child’s home state handles public extracurriculars.
The following pages will investigate the positions of states across the nation. Should students be allowed to participate in alternative schooling while still being able to participate in the activities supported by the schools they reject?
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