Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law Friday a bill that forces local school systems to allow home-schooled students to participate in public school athletic programs. The new law takes effect with the start of the 2013-14 school year. Prior to the bill sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield and Rep. Roger Kane, both of Knoxville, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association left it up to local school boards whether home-schooled students were allowed on public school teams. The Dickson County School Board voted unanimously in July 2011 not to allow home-schooled students on school sports teams. Board members said at that time they believe if parents choose not to enroll their children in public schools, they should not have the right to participate in those schools’ extracurricular activities. The new law says home-schooled students are eligible to participate in “interscholastic athletics” at the school for which they would be assigned as long as they meet the same academic, health and conduct standards as enrolled students. The student must register as a home-schooled student with the director of schools and register with the school the student’s intent to participate in athletics prior to Aug. 1 of the school year. The student must meet any eligibility requirements adopted by organizations governing interscholastic sports such as the TSSAA. The new law only addresses “extracurricular athletics,” and does not address home-schooled students participating in other extracurricular activities such as theater, academic teams, forensics, marching band or such.