Remove One-Year-Prior for Equal Access

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I’m writing today in support of SC Bill 3031 to modify the Equal Access law. The “one-year prior” phrase has been problematic and unfair.

I believe that this wording was initially intended to prevent a possible loophole whereby academically ineligible athletes could transfer into homeschooling. Then the parent could theoretically prepare a different report card and claim academic eligibility. We do not want anyone to misuse homeschool law in order to retroactively alter their grades either. 

However, I am not aware of a single case where an ineligible athlete has sought to become academically eligible under homeschooling. Instead, this phrasing has been used to disqualify numerous academically eligible participants, who happen to change school options. It’s become a mandatory disqualification for athletes for no other reason. This disqualification is applied to students who go to virtual charter schools as well. 

 There really is no other purpose for the “one-year”clause--other than to prevent athletes from having school choice, by deterring them from equal access eligibility. Please support this bill to remove the “one-year” requirement. Participation in the high school league already has requirements for academic eligibility. It should not matter if the student’s academic eligibility is established by public, private or homeschool academics prior to equal access. 

Respectfully petitioning for a hearing.