Video: Home schoolers want public extras

Home schooling provides many alternatives to the public education system — except extracurriculars.

But according to the New York Times, an increasing number of home schooled families want the same access to privileges of public schools, from taking certain courses inside the classroom to joining sports teams.

In the article, Mary Mellinger reluctantly allowed her kids to go to a public school — just so they could play sports.  The local school district in Strasburg, Pa. does not allow kids taught at home to play on any high school athletic team. 

Should they be allowed to participate in public activities if they don't attend the school? Tucker Carlson, host of MSNBC-TV's 'The Situation' and Max Kellerman, ESPN talk show host, debate.

TUCKER CARLSON: They deserve it.  You know why?  Because they pay taxes.  They pay for those services whether they use them or not.  The schools aren't very good, or they want to see their kids more, so they educate them themselves.  But they have a right.  They have a right to be on those teams.

MAX KELLERMAN:  All right, fine.  You pay a school tax, it seems like you should be entitled to use the resources of the school. However, look at it in a broader sense, Tucker.  When you home-school your kids, it's essentially a rejection of the system.  Oh, so you're a tough guy.  Now the system's no good.  You're going to do it your own way, until your own way doesn't work, then let's send them back to the system. 

And another thing is, in many states, though not Pennsylvania, many school districts — you get funds from the state based on attendance.  So if these kids don't count as being students in the school, they're sucking resources out of the school without contributing anything. 

CARLSON:  Let me respond to both those points.  Your first one was actually made almost out loud by the assistant superintendent in Pennsylvania, quoted in the paper this morning, who said, "Athletic teams are only for kids who comply with the school," in other words, who buy into a system that clearly isn't working very well.  In other words, they should be punished for not getting a bad education in our school. 

Second, and I think more importantly, Max, home schooling sends a message to the schools, "You're not doing a good job."  Schools should respond to the phenomenon of home schools — like changing and getting better.

KELLERMAN:  But no, that undermines that your argument, because I was with you the whole time until you just said that.  I was faking it, Tucker!  But now muddling the message because you're saying, "This doesn't work, except in these areas where it kind of really works very well, so well, in fact, that we want to use your facilities." 

CARLSON:  Yes, yes.  You can have a great basketball team but a lousy math department.  It's possible, in fact.  It exists in a lot of schools in this country. 

KELLERMAN:  OK, fine, you're right.

Watch The Situation with Tucker Carlson each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET & 1 a.m. ET

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