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South Dakota
South Dakota

March 24, 2014

Labor Laws Become Homeschool-Friendly

Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in South Dakota. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

The laws of most states prohibit teens from working eight hours on days when the public schools are in session. But if a homeschool or private school student’s own school or program has a vacation on a day the public schools are in session, why should he be prohibited from working eight hours?

Missouri rationalized its own state child labor law several years ago. Following this lead, the South Dakota Christian Home Educators took up the issue and prepared a bill, with HSLDA’s assistance, that made a student’s own school calendar the reference point from which to determine how many hours a day he could work under state law.

The idea made so much sense that House Bill 1132 encountered virtually no opposition during the legislative process. Nor were phone calls necessary to support it. The bill passed the House by a margin of 66 to 2 then passed the Senate 31 to 0, and was subsequently signed by the governor.

The pendulum has begun to swing. We hope to see many other states—and even the federal government—rationalize their child labor laws in the not-too-distant future.

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