South Dakota Senate Follows SD House: Abolish the U.S. Dept. of Education

South_Dakota_flag_5Following up… the South Dakota Senate voted yesterday 19-15 to pass HCR 1003 after the South Dakota House voted 48 to 20 on Tuesday to pass the measure that calls on Congress to abolish the U.S. Department of Education.

If you don’t like the job the Federal government is doing meddling in education this is certainly one way to do it.  Now if we can get them to vote to repeal Common Core!  Here is the text of the bill:

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Urging Congress and the President of the Unites States to abolish the United States Department of Education.

    WHEREAS, public education was designed by the citizens of the United States to be a state and local matter; and

    WHEREAS, the United States Department of Education has become a bloated, intrusive agency that performs many functions that could be eliminated or performed by other agencies within the federal government; and

    WHEREAS, many of the employees of the United States Department of Education are highly paid bureaucrats who directly educate no children in the United States; and

    WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan, during his presidency, called for the dismantling of the department; and U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, during his recent successful campaign, called for the abolition of the department; and

    WHEREAS, the current federal deficit is over four hundred billion dollars, the current national debt of the federal government is over seventeen trillion dollars, and the need to

Balance the federal budget is vitally important to the long-term economic health of our nation:

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature believes that education is a state and local matter that should be free of federal interference, and therefore, urges Congress and the President of the United States to abolish the United States Department of Education.

South Dakota House Narrowly Rejects Common Core Resolution

PierreSD_CapitolThe South Dakota House of Representatives narrowly rejected HCR 1008.  This is unbelievable.  All this bill did was to urge the South Dakota Board of Education to refrain from expanding the Common Core State Standards or any other multi-state standards (like the Next Generation Science Standards) into the state.  It did not direct the board to do so.

And some state representatives couldn’t agree to even doing that?  I think South Dakotans deserve answers from those who voted no (which includes the Speaker of the House and House Majority Leader): State Representatives Julie Bartling (D-Gregory), Lance Carson (R-Mitchell), Kristin Conzet (R-Rapid City), Dan Dryden (R-Rapid City), Mary Duvall (R-Pierre), Marc Feinstein (D-Sioux Falls), Peggy Gibson (D-Huron) Brian Gosch (R-Rapid City), Anne Hajek (R-Sioux Falls), Paula Hawks (D-Hartford), Spencer Hawley (D-Brookings), Troy Heinert (D-Mission), Bernie Hunhoff (D-Yankton), Timothy Johns (R-Lead), Kevin Killer (D-Pine Ridge), Patrick Kirschman, David Lust (R-Rapid City), David Novstrup (R-Aberdeen), Herman Otten (R-Tea), Scott Parsley (D-Madison), Jim Peterson (D-Revillo), Ray Ring (D-Vermillion), Fred Romkema (R-Spearfish), Tim Rounds (R-Pierre), Tona Rozum (R-Mitchell), Kyle Schoenfish (R-Scotland), Dean Schrempp (D-Lantry), Jacqueline Sly (R-Rapid City), Karen Soli (D-Sioux Falls), Mike Stevens (R-Yankton), Burt Tulson (R-Lake Norden), Kathy Tyler (D-Big Stone City), Dick Werner (R-Huron) and Susan Wismer (D-Britton).

The Rapid City Journal reports that the South Dakota Senate last week failed to pass a resolution that would implement a two year study of the Common Core State Standards.  It failed to pick up the required 2/3 majority.  On a positive note they did pass bills that would prevent expanding the Common Core standards to other subjects until July 2016.  This should bar the South Dakota Board of Education from adopting the Next Generation Science Standards if they were inclined to take that up for the time being.  Also the South Dakota Senate passed a bill that seeks to protect the privacy of student records.

Photo credit: Jeffrey Allen (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Anti-Common Core Bill Clears South Dakota House Education Committee

PierreSD_CapitolThe South Dakota House Education Committee advanced another anti-Common Core bill on an 8 to 7 vote last Friday.  House Bill 1204 would require the South Dakota Board of Education to obtain legislative approval before adopting any further Common Core standards, and to repeal a provision requiring the board to conduct certain public hearings.

The bill was introduced by State Representatives Jim Bolan (R-Canton), Blaine Campbell (R-Rapid City), Scott Craig (R-Rapid City), Brock Greenfield (R-Clark), Don Haggar (R-Sioux Falls), Steve Hickey (R-Sioux Falls), Don Kopp (R-Rapid City), Isaac Latterell (R-Tea), Patty Miller (R-McCook Lake), Stace Nelson (R-Fulton), Betty Olson (R-Prairie City), Nancy Rasmussen (R-Hurley), James Schaefer (R-Kennebec), Jim Stalzer (R-Sioux Falls), Manny Steele (R-Sioux Falls), and Mike Verchio (R-Hill City).  It is also being sponsored in South Dakota Senate (I’m not sure how South Dakota works, if it is an identical companion bill, or they will move this bill through the Senate), but State Senators Tim Begalka (R-Clear Lake), Phil Jensen (R-Rapid City), David Omdahl (R-Sioux Falls) and Ernie Otten (R-Tea).

This bill is being heard on the House floor today.  The Capitol Journal reports that the South Dakota Secretary of Education, Melanie Schopp, is spouting off the usual propaganda.

Secretary of Education Melanie Schopp opposed the bill, saying the Common Core Standards do not dictate how or what teachers should teach. The Common Core Standards are based on a set of nationwide expectations currently focused on English and math.

“The thing that’s great about the Common Core that is different than the standards we’ve had previously, is that they include the ability to think creatively, solve real world problems, make effective arguments and engage effectively in debates,” Schopp said.

State Representative Bolan who authored the bill said, “One of the founding principles of American education is that states and local citizens will determine how their schools are going to be run and what will be taught in each local entity.  The Common Core Standards movement is an attempt to circumvent this long-standing tradition of American education. The adoption of the standards threatens to undo a portion of American Exceptionalism.”