During a July 29 school board meeting, Comal ISD board members heard a presentation about new legislation that would allow homeschool students to participate in University Interscholastic League activities with the district.
The 87th Texas Legislature in June passed House Bill 547, which permits homeschool students to participate in UIL activities and enables schools to decide locally whether students can participate.
The UIL has yet to convene to discuss the implications of the change and determine how the change will affect school districts.
Because full ramifications of the legislation are not yet finalized, CISD officials and Texas Association of School Boards officials recommended the district not allow homeschool students to participate during the 2021-22 school year.
The recommendation was made to give staff time to review the rules and regulations, observe any reclassification consequences and discuss any requirements needed for implementation, according to the district.
If homeschooled students were allowed to participate, the decision could alter the division in which a school competes, according to district officials.
During the meeting, district coaches and board members voiced opposition toward allowing homeschool students to participate in school activities.
“We emphasize the term ‘student-athlete,’” said Louis Drum, head football coach and athletic coordinator at Canyon Lake High School. “If they’re good enough for the locker room they should be good enough for the classroom.”
The UIL is anticipated to release information regarding the effects on a school’s enrollment for UIL reclassification and realignment purposes in October, and districts will be able to decide whether to opt into the program ahead of each school year, according to district officials.