Governor Daugaard Punts, Senators Fumble in Overtime
by Scott Woodruff • April 3, 2018
A bill that would have put homeschool graduates on a level playing field to receive the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship—SB 94—died when five senators who voted in favor of the bill during its Senate passage refused to support the bill in the face of a unexpected gubernatorial veto.
The senators are: Alan Solano, John Wilk, Jeffrey Partridge, Justin Cronin, and Jim White.
The bill called for a reasonable change to the Opportunity Scholarship requirements. It would have ended the current rule that, in order to qualify for the scholarship, homeschooled students must score higher on the ACT than other students.
During the final legislative committee hearing on the bill, which I attended, not even one person testified against the bill. The Board of Regents (representing South Dakota public higher education) did not oppose it. The governor’s own Department of Education did not oppose it.
The governor’s veto was therefore a total shock and a huge disappointment. The five senators’ decision to reverse course and kill a chance to keep highly qualified homeschool graduates in South Dakota added to this disappointment.
Home School Legal Defense Association and South Dakota Christian Home Educators have been steadily working for years to right the longstanding discrimination in the Opportunity Scholarship Program. And we are not about to stop now!
We will be back next year. But we need your help. We need you to send folks to Pierre who will stand up to end scholarship discrimination!