ASSEMBLY, No. 2958

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 21, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† CELESTE M. RILEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

Assemblyman† ERIK PETERSON

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman DiMaio

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires school districts to allow home-schooled students and students who attend charter schools to participate in interscholastic sports programs on resident districtís sports teams.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the participation of certain students in Statewide interscholastic sports programs and supplementing chapter 11 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† A board of education shall permit a home-schooled student who meets the eligibility requirements for student athletes established by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association to try out for, and participate in, school-sponsored interscholastic athletics in the studentís district of residence in accordance with the same criteria established for students enrolled in the district. A home-schooled student who wishes to compete on an interscholastic sports team or squad in his resident district shall:

†††† a.†††† provide proof that he resides in the district;

†††† b.††† meet the sports participation requirements established by the school district for students enrolled in the district such as physical examinations, insurance, age, academic, and other requirements. A home-schooled student shall comply with the same standards of behavior, responsibilities, and performance as all other members of the team or squad;

†††† c.†††† demonstrate to the board of education that he is receiving an academically equivalent education compared to students enrolled in the school district and that he is academically qualified to participate; and

†††† d.††† demonstrate to the board of education that he did not transfer to a home-school program for athletic advantage. A student who withdraws from a public school to enroll in a home-school program and who is ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics at the time of withdrawal from the public school due to his failure to meet academic, behavioral, or eligibility standards, shall be ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletic competition. †

 

†††† 2.††† A board of education shall permit a student who attends a charter school and who meets the eligibility requirements for student athletes established by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association to try out for, and participate in, a school-sponsored interscholastic athletics team or squad in the studentís district of residence in accordance with the same criteria established for students enrolled in the district if the charter school does not sponsor an interscholastic sports team or squad in the sport in which the student wishes to participate. A student who attends a charter school who wishes to compete on an interscholastic sports team or squad in his resident district shall:

†††† a.†††† provide proof that he resides in the district;

†††† b.††† meet the sports participation requirements established by the school district for students enrolled in the district such as physical examinations, insurance, age, academic, and other requirements. A charter school student shall comply with the same standards of behavior, responsibilities, and performance as all other members of the team or squad; and

†††† c.†††† demonstrate to the board of education that he did not transfer to a charter school program for athletic advantage. A student who withdraws from a school district to enroll in a charter school program and who is ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletics at the time of withdrawal from the school district due to his failure to meet academic, behavioral, or eligibility standards, shall be ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletic competition.

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires school districts to allow home-schooled students and students who attend charter schools to participate in interscholastic sports programs in the studentís resident district in accordance with the same criteria established for students enrolled in the district.

†††† Under the bill, a home-schooled student who wishes to compete in school-sponsored interscholastic athletics in his resident district must:

        provide proof that he resides in the district;

        meet the sports participation requirements established by the school district for students enrolled in the district such as physical examinations, insurance, age, academic, and other requirements. A home-schooled student must comply with the same standards of behavior, responsibilities, and performance as all other members of the team or squad;

        meet the eligibility rules of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA);

        demonstrate to the board of education that he is receiving an academically equivalent education compared to students enrolled in the school district and that he is academically qualified to participate; and

        demonstrate to the board of education that he did not transfer to a home-school program for athletic advantage.

†††† Under the bill, a charter school student may try out for, and participate in, a school-sponsored interscholastic athletics team or squad in the studentís district of residence if the charter school does not sponsor an interscholastic sports team or squad in the sport in which the student wishes to participate. A charter school student who wishes to compete on an interscholastic sports team or squad in his resident district must:

        provide proof that he resides in the district;

        meet the sports participation requirements established by the school district for students enrolled in the district such as physical examinations, insurance, age, academic, and other requirements. A charter school student must comply with the same standards of behavior, responsibilities, and performance as all other members of the team or squad;

        meet the eligibility rules of the NJSIAA; and

        demonstrate to the board of education that he did not transfer to a home-school program for athletic advantage.

†††† On November 9, 2011, the NJSIAAís Executive Committee amended the associationís bylaws to clarify that a board of education could, in its discretion, allow home-schooled students to participate in interscholastic sports if both the school and the student complied with the newly-adopted NJSIAA guidelines for home-schooled students. This bill requires, rather than permits, school districts to allow home-schooled students who meet the associationís eligibility requirements to participate in interscholastic sports.†

†††† The NJSIAA currently allows charter school students to participate on an interscholastic sports team in their district of residence if the charter school does not offer the particular sport in which they wish to participate, provided that the principals of both schools agree with the arrangement. This bill eliminates the need for the principals to agree and requires school districts to allow qualified charter school students to participate on the resident districtís sports team.