June 14, 2012

New Law Allows Participation in Interscholastic Activities

Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Alaska. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Due to the enactment of Alaska Senate Bill 119 on June 1, 2012, homeschool students and other students in alternative education programs may participate in interscholastic activities at public school beginning July 1, 2013. “Interscholastic activities” are defined in the law as preparation for and participation in events or competitions involving another school when such are (1) sanctioned or supported by the statewide interscholastic activities governing body, (2) conducted outside of the regular school curriculum, and (3) do not involve participation in student government at a school.

The new law provides that only homeschool students enrolled in a program that is “accredited by a recognized accrediting body” are eligible to participate in the interscholastic activities. Unfortunately, the law provides no guidance as to who must recognize the accrediting body in order for it to be acceptable. No state, including Alaska, requires that homeschools be accredited in order to meet compulsory attendance requirements. It remains to be seen whether any homeschool program in Alaska will undergo accreditation for participation in the interscholastic activities.

Home School Legal Defense Association takes a neutral position on this type of legislation permitting homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at public school.