Big debate on my KMOX show this afternoon about whether home-schooled kids should be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at their nearby public school. Fifteen states permit it, not including Missouri and Illinois.

It was sparked by the story of Chris Cartwright, a 9th-grader who wants to play in the marching band, but the school district said he wasn’t eligible because he was home-schooled. The parents enrolled him as a fulltime student so he could play in the band, but they’re upset at the official policy, which they’re trying to get changed.

I’m on the side of the public schools. If the school’s not good enough for your kid to learn during the regular school day, then it shouldn’t be good enough for the marching band, the lacrosse team, or the debate club.

Opponents often argue, “they pay taxes to support the school, so they shouldn’t be kept out.” I don’t buy it. We support public universities with our state tax money, too, but you can’t play on the Mizzou basketball team without attending the school fulltime, so why should it be different with high school teams and activities?

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