(AIKEN STANDARD) — Home-schooled students in South Carolina could play sports at their local public school under a measure advanced Wednesday by a Senate panel.

An education subcommittee voted 6-3 on a bill giving homeschool students access to all extracurricular activities, including marching band, at the school they would otherwise attend. A separate bill under debate on the Senate floor would give the option to students in public charter schools that don’t offer sports.

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Advocates say it’s a matter of fairness, providing to all students the benefits of athletics and activities, from the camaraderie and teamwork building to scholarship opportunities. Opponents say they worry that homeschool students could take the slots of students at the school.

“It’s an awesome thing for kids to be involved in sports, especially for homeschool kids,” said Dwight Cauthen, who spoke about his 15-year-old son “whose learning difference is addressed better at home.”

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