Home > 2014 SD Legislative Session, Education, South Dakota > HB1187: Parents choice bill successfully forced out of committee

HB1187: Parents choice bill successfully forced out of committee

February 24, 2014

Smoke_detectorToday was an up and down day for those of hoping for action from the South Dakota Legislature in the battle against Common Core. This morning the House Education Committee took action on three bills. All three bills were related to Common Core in one way or another. Sadly the two important bills were defeated in committee. But one of those bills was not going to be left for dead.

Before going into the revived bill, it is worth looking at what the House Ed committee actually took action on. The first bill was HB1075; which had the stated purpose to “provide for public notice of certain hearings conducted by the Board of Education, and to require that the hearings be conducted at least sixty days apart.” This bill passed the committee easily. Sadly this was a hollow victory. SD Secretary of Education Schopp actually testified in favor of this bill. She says the bill reinforces what her department already does. I disagree with her interpretation of the past, but at least it is in codified law for any future attempts at adding Common Core related standards.

The second bill taken up for action was HB1187. HB1187 would allow parents to opt their children out of certain assessments, especially the Smarter Balance Assessment tied to Common Core. It is important to remember that these assessments have nothing to do with a child’s grade or educational advancement. The assessments are used purely for statistical purposes in order to quantify how well Common Core is doing. That approach is bad for many reasons. But the reasons are less important than the fact parents currently are forbidden from opting their children out of these assessments. This bill would put some power  back into the hands of parents. Sadly the committee voted this bill to the 41st legislative day, thereby killing the bill….

The third and final bill acted upon by the House Ed Committee was HB1243. HB1243 is a bill I really liked. It would have forced the SD Department of Education and South Dakota Board of Education to focus on curriculum best suited to South Dakota students; as opposed to Common Core, which actually outsources our curriculum to distant bureaucrats. Sadly this bill was also defeated in committee by sending it to the 41st day. This was the bill I really wanted to hear debated on the House floor, but that won’t happen this year…

Going into the afternoon House session Rep Bolin led a smokeout attempt to resurrect HB1187. Smokeouts are used to force a bill out of committee and on to the floor. A successful smokeout in the House requires 24 representatives to stand. The smokeout was successful! According to David Montgomery it may have just made the required 24 standing to survive. Since there was a successful smokeout of the bill, it required the House Ed committee to have a special meeting after the House session today. The committee Chair Rep Sly did not seem too pleased with this result. That isn’t surprising, she was one of the reps championing the bills defeat.

Tomorrow the bill still has some hurdles to face. Earlier today when I had questions about smokouts Montgomery pointed me to this Joint Rule applicable for HB1187 and how it will be handled tomorrow:

7-8. Placement of “smoked-out” bill or resolution on calendar. If a bill or resolution is delivered to the House of Representatives or Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 7-7 on the last day for passage and it was not reported “Do Pass,” the bill or resolution may, by motion approved by a majority of the members-elect of the House of Representatives or Senate, be placed on that day’s calendar.

So, even though the bill was forced out of committee it does not guarantee a vote tomorrow. I would assume the House Ed special committee session will send the bill to the floor with a status of ‘no recommendation’ or ‘do not pass’. In that case 36 of the 70 representatives will have to vote Yes to allow the bill to be placed on the calendar. If the 36 votes are not reached the bill will have died once again.

If the bill does get voted onto the calendar, it would still have to survive a Do Pass vote. That again would require a majority of representatives. Right now I’m not so sure there is enough support on the floor to survive both votes. Hopefully enough constituents will pressure their representatives tonight and tomorrow morning so the numbers can be pushed in favor of passing HB1187.

It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow…

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    February 24, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    My sister is home schooling her daughter. Unfortunately, she is doing a very poor job. Her kid will graduate with no record of accomplishment. Would you hire her over someone who has a good record of performance?

    • February 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Well, when I lived in Minnesota I had an employee that got his GED at age 40. He was one of my best techs, a natural trouble-shooter. I do think education is important, but is not the whole equation as to how well a person can do in life.

      That being said.. I do support homeschooling. Yet at the same time those homeschoolers need to realize when it is not working right. As a parent they are not serving their child’s needs well by using an education method that is not working out. But I would also say the same for children that are not working out well in public education, private schools, or any other method of education. Each child and education method is different.

  2. Jeff P.
    February 24, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    They are just begging 100’s of angry parents to come and take their jobs aren’t they ?

    • February 25, 2014 at 8:10 am

      It looks that way to me..

  3. March 13, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Great inthsig! That’s the answer we’ve been looking for.

  1. February 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm
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