Liz McCormick Published

Senators Consider Tim Tebow, PROMISE For Community And Technical College Student Bills

Sen. Judiciary Chair Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, listens to testimony in a Senate Education Committee meeting on March 9, 2021. Trump is the lead sponsor of SB 28, creating the Tim Tebow Act.

A bill to help students pay for community and technical college and another that would allow private and homeschool students to participate in extracurriculars at public schools are on the move in the West Virginia Senate.

The Senate Education Committee on Thursday afternoon considered SB 28, which would create the Tim Tebow Act — so named for the former professional American athlete Tim Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, who was homeschooled.

Senators amended the title, however, after some discussion, to the Open and Equal Opportunities in Student Activities Act.

Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, expressed concern that naming a law after someone who is still alive could result in stigma, should anything negative ever befall the person. Unger used former professional American cyclist Lance Armstrong as an example.

The bill’s lead sponsor, Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, agreed.

“It’s much more important, what this bill does or will do, than whom it’s named after,” Trump said. “This is not about any particular person but about the hundreds and thousands of children who will get to benefit by sports participation, band participation in years to follow us.”

The bill would permit students who are homeschooled, attending private school or Hope Scholarship recipients to participate in sports, band, theater and other activities at public schools.

SB 28 passed unanimously in committee and now heads to the full chamber.

Senators also passed SB 335, which allows students seeking a vocational certificate or degree at an accredited community and technical college in the state to be eligible for the PROMISE Scholarship.

Students who qualify for PROMISE at a community and technical college would receive an annual award of up to $4,750 for tuition and fees.

SB 335 passed unanimously out of committee and now heads to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration.