Homeschool students in New Mexico have been prohibited from participating in Science Olympiad, a science fair in which they have competed for the previous 11 years.
The Blaze reports that this year the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) began enforcing eligibility requirements, which would require homeschoolers to “join a public school team in their district” in order to compete in the Science Olympiad.
Linda Walkup, who started the Albuquerque Area Homeschoolers Science Olympiad team for her daughter and other homeschoolers were are interested in science, and who is now a coach for the team, said that they were seeking an appeal to the NMAA’s decision and hope they will be allowed to compete.
Walkup expressed the acute disappointment of the students who were told they couldn’t compete in the science fair. “Some of the younger ones were crying,” said Walkup.
The homeschool group has finished in first or second place in state competitions in the past 10 years and has made it to the national competition eight times.
NMAA Associate Director Dusty Young stated that the requirement is not a new one, but just hasn’t been properly enforced in the past.
However, Walkup and her team still believe it is unfair. Even though the requirement would allow homeschool students to compete as part of a public school team, many of the students do not live near enough to a public school, and many of the public school science teams are already filled up.
Photo courtesy: flickr.com
Publication date: November 20, 2015