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1/20/2005 5:05:35 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Homeschoolers Defeat Onerous Testing Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 20, 2005


South Dakota--Homeschoolers Defeat Onerous Testing Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

This morning the Senate Education Committee decisively voted against
Senate Bill 11.

No one testified in favor of the bill except the two sponsors, Senator
Kooistra and Representative Roberts. Senator Kooistra presented a
graph showing that South Dakota homeschoolers score higher on
standardized tests than others. He then insisted that the public
schools monitor the tests, but did not present any evidence casting
doubt on the reliability of the test scores.

With only a day's notice, HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff flew to South
Dakota and testified against the onerous Senate Bill 11. He argued
that no state insists on monitoring the tests homeschoolers take, and
fewer than half the states require any testing at all. Woodruff also
showed how the restrictive monitoring of testing proposed in Senate
Bill 11 violated parental rights. In addition, each member of the
Committee received a complete copy of the Rudner report, which shows
that high test scores for homeschoolers is truly a national
phenomenon.

Several other homeschoolers testified against the bill. The room was
crammed with parents who opposed the bill. They overflowed the hearing
room and spilled out into the adjoining hall.

Senator Kooistra could see there was little support for his bill. In
his rebuttal, he said, "I have an idea where this bill is going." He
then suggested that the Department of Education "step up to the
plate."

Senator Knudson offered a motion to defer the bill to the non-existent
forty-first legislative day, which would kill the bill. He said that
the proponents of the bill had not documented any problems to solve.
Senator Bogue seconded the motion. Senator Nesselhuf said that greater
public accountability is needed for public schools, not privately
operated homeschools. He also said that his e-mail account had been
"maxed out" with e-mails opposing the bill.

When the Chairman called for a vote, every Senator voted against SB 11
except Senator Kooistra.

Your calls, e-mails, and visits to the Capitol made a tremendous
difference. Thank you for standing with us for freedom.


Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney
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