Football players practice for an upcoming game on a field in Spartanburg County. (File/FOX Carolina)
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -
The state Senate has approved a bill allowing home-schooled students in South Carolina to play sports at their local public school.
The measure passed by a 36-0 vote Thursday would give homeschool students access to all extracurricular activities at the school they would otherwise attend. It requires another vote to go to the House.
Advocates said it's a matter of fairness, providing to all students the benefits of athletics and activities, from the camaraderie and teamwork building to scholarship opportunities.
Officials estimate that 18,000 students are taught at home in South Carolina. How many would pursue the option is unknown.
Twenty-eight states already allow it.
Oran Smith of the Palmetto Family Council called the bipartisan vote a huge victory.
Similar bills have repeatedly died in the Legislature since 1996.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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