Young swimmer dives into debate about home-schoolers competing in UIL


Highlights

Kloie Kim testified before the Senate Education Committee last month.

Kloie wants to continue to compete with her friends in UIL meets as she gets older.

Last month, Kloie Kim, a 10-year-old competitive swimmer from Mansfield, dove headlong into the debate about home-schooled students being given the chance to compete in public school athletics.

Flanked by her mother, Rachel, Kloie spoke before the Senate Education Committee at the Capitol, telling committee members it’s unfair that home-schooled students are not eligible to compete in University Interscholastic League events.

“We pay the (property) taxes, so I think it’s more than fair we can compete” in public school sports, she said.

Kloie was among dozens who spoke about Senate Bill 640 on April 6. While she was among those who wanted access to UIL-sponsored sports and activities, other home-school proponents said they worried that the bill might result in more governmental regulation of home schooling in Texas.

For her part, though, Kloie mostly wanted the opportunity to continue to swim with her friends, whom she joins five times a week at the Mansfield Aquatics Club, which is about 30 miles southwest of Dallas.

“I have a lot of energy, but when I’m not swimming I go crazy,” she said. “When I’m in the water, I feel I can work hard and open up with my friends.”

Kloie, who is wrapping up her fifth-grade year, is among the roughly 350,000 home-schooled students in Texas. Although she has had fun competing against her friends, she was intrigued by the possibility of joining them at swim meets involving public school students.

For that reason, she spoke to lawmakers about the so-called Tim Tebow bill, which seeks to open UIL sports to home-schooled students. As of Friday, supporters’ hopes that the bill would advance to a House vote at the eleventh hour appeared to be sinking rapidly.

If the bill dies during this legislative session, Kloie expects to lose the opportunity to compete with her best friends, Lily Rossmann and Elise Clift, when all three enter the seventh grade in August 2018. Lily and Elise attend public schools and would be eligible for UIL meets at that point.

“Public schools are missing out on a huge pool of talent,” Rachel Kim said. “We would love to have Kloie swim for UIL teams, too.”

Kloie and her 13-year-old sister, Kadence, have been home-schooled for three years now. Both girls started out in public schools, but when Kadence suffered a brain injury in a car wreck, Rachel and her husband, Eric, decided to teach the girls at home.

At the time, Kadence was struggling to remember what she was learning in her public school classes. Math and reading were particularly challenging subjects for her, and she felt more comfortable staying at home. Now, both girls prefer to be home-schooled, their mother said.

“They’re both able to learn at a faster pace at home,” she said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in High School Sports

2017 preseason All-Central Texas football team
2017 preseason All-Central Texas football team

OFFENSE QB: Mak Sexton, sr., Cedar Park Third-year starter threw for 2,670 yards, 22 TDs last season and boasts career record of 28-1. RB: Nakia Watson, sr., Westlake Wisconsin pledge rumbled for 1,688 yards, 22 TDs to help Chaps reach a regional final in 2016. RB: Luke Leschber, jr., Thorndale A 200-pounder with good speed whose sophomore season included...
Longhorns soccer team opens season with a win
Longhorns soccer team opens season with a win

The Texas Longhorns soccer team didn’t take long to score its first goal and held on to defeat Rice 2-1 at Myers Stadium on Friday night. Haley Berg, a freshman midfielder, scored 25 seconds after kickoff. The goal was one of the fastest scored in Texas history. Jill Cook scored the fastest in Texas history when she scored ...
Martinez leads Round Rock to win over New Orleans

Nick Martinez allowed just three hits over seven innings, leading the Round Rock Express over the New Orleans Baby Cakes in a 3-0 win on Friday in Metairie, La. Tanner Scheppers got Ramon Cabrera to fly out with runners on first and second to end the game for his second save of the season. The win ended a four-game losing streak for Round Rock and...
Doug Ghim advances to U.S. Amateur semifinals
Doug Ghim advances to U.S. Amateur semifinals

Doug Ghim took two victories at the USGA U.S. Amateur to advance to the semifinals in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Friday. Ghim topped Connor Syme of Scotland 2 and 1 to move on to the semifinals. A bogey on the par-3 No. 16 put Ghim up two holes as Syme made a double bogey on the hole. Both golfers made par on the 17th, sealing the win for...
Georgia Tech kicks star running back Dedrick Mills off team
Georgia Tech kicks star running back Dedrick Mills off team

Georgia Tech star Dedrick Mills was dismissed from the team Friday for violating athletic department rules in what was essentially a third strike for the dynamic but troubled running back. The stunning announcement came with the season opener against Tennessee less than three weeks away. Coach Paul Johnson did not specify what rule was broken but stressed...
More Stories