Home > 2015 SD Legislative Session > Senate Education committee has 3 bills on Tues Feb 10

Senate Education committee has 3 bills on Tues Feb 10

February 9, 2015

steeplechase-silhouetteOn Tuesday, February 10th, at 7:45 AM the SD Senate Education committee will take on 3 bills.

SB 114 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Encourage and protect the teaching of certain scientific information.

Sen Jeff Monroe (R, Dist 24) and Rep Jim Bolin (R, Dist 16) are the prime sponsors. This bill has popped up in various forms around the country this year. This is an updated version of Tennessee’s “monkey law”. Unlike what the title of the bills says, this bill has nothing to do with protecting “the teaching of certain scientific information.” In fact this bill is not about science at all. Actually it is a way to make sure “intelligent design” and teaching against things such as global warming and human cloning is allowed in schools. This is a bad bill. If the legislature passes this bill they will be making a political statement while overly intruding into school curriculum (remember, many of those supporting this bill are against Common Core because of what it imposes on schools!). Hopefully the bill dies in committee and I don’t have to write about this bill again.

SB 132 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Allow school districts to recruit or retain teachers by providing certain financial incentives.

Sen Tim Rave (R, Dist 25) and Rep Jacqueline Sly (R, Dist 33) are the prime sponsors. This bill would allow school districts to sign a contract that included a signing bonus, moving expenses or tuition reimbursement. This can be done in one lump sum after the teachers first year of employment, or installments over a max of three years. One caveat is that the incentives offered by this bill cannot be negotiated by a “designated collective bargaining representative.” So teachers have to negotiate this on their own, and not through a union. It also has a provision that allows school districts to raise the teachers pay to match the pay of a job the teacher was offered elsewhere. I really like the first part of this bill. Such incentives may help recruit teachers.

SB 133 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Require all students leaving an accredited school for an alternative education program to wait one year before participating in interscholastic activities.

This bill has been deferred from before. Here are my notes prior to its first scheduled hearing:

Sen Tim Rave (R, Dist 25) and Rep Jean Hunhoff (R, Dist 18) are the prime sponsors. This removes the words “during the course of the school year”. Apparently someone feels the need to make sure this one year waiting period is followed even if the change is done outside of the school year. Personally I think this whole law should go away. There is no such waiting period if someone moves from one accredited school to another.

Homeschool groups have really picked up on this bill. They understand how bad it is for anyone that chooses to leave the public education system. Hopefully this bill dies in committee. It is a bad bill.

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