On March 10, Governor Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill 177 into law, capping months of hard work and freeing thousands of parents from a significant amount of needless paperwork.

The bill:

  • streamlines the notice requirement;
  • places South Dakota in the company of other states that have realized that the justification for mandatory testing is weak or nonexistent;
  • solves the problem of unequal statewide access to participation in school activities.

“Good education starts in the home,” Governor Noem said. And soon a family’s decision to choose home-based education, or “alternative instruction,” as it is known in South Dakota, will involve less red tape and more equality.

The changes are due to become effective on July 1. Until then, the old laws continue in force.