PIERRE, South Dakota (STL.News) Good education starts in the home. It starts with strong parents and strong families. We know that parents are responsible for a child’s upbringing and their protection. And COVID-19 underscored just how involved parents need to be in their children’s day-to-day education, as well.
It’s our duty to find innovative solutions that empower parents to set their children up for success. For some kids, the home is the best environment for them to get an individualized education that fits their needs. Senate Bill 177 amends South Dakota’s alternative education statutes. This legislation passed through the Senate this week and has my support.
Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of misinformation on what this bill does. Some folks think that more homeschooling will lead to more truancy – and this bill strengthens two elements of the state’s truancy statutes to make sure that this does not happen. It puts criminal processes in place for parents who neglect their duty to educate their children.
The bill also eliminates a testing mandate that is not currently being used in South Dakota. This test costs taxpayers $40,000 a year to conduct. If nobody is using it, then we should eliminate it, save the taxpayers those dollars, and spend them in other areas that help grow our state.