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2/16/2007 3:47:49 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Calls Needed to Stop H.B. 1266, 'Over-Funding Proven Failure'

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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South Dakota--Calls Needed to Stop H.B. 1266,
'Over-Funding Proven Failure'

Dear HSLDA Friends and Members,

Your calls are urgently needed to stop H.B. 1266--the bill that would
overfund the South Dakota Virtual School. As we have noted before,
this bill would give extra funding for a type of system that has
already been observed to result in failure.

The Legislature should not foolishly rush in and fund a program that
appears to be a dangerous experiment--with children as the guinea
pigs.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact the members of the Senate Education Committee and your
own senator with this message: "Please vote no on H.B. 1266. This
bill would operate to overfund the South Dakota Virtual School.
Virtual schools have been proven to be failures in Idaho. Don't
experiment with our kids."

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooling family,
since this issue is broader than just homeschooling.

The contact information for the members of the Senate Education
Committee is as follows:

Senator Bob Gray
605-773-3821

Senator Sandy Jerstad
605-261-1044

Senator Dave Knudson (Vice Chairman)
605-224-6877

Senator Kenneth McNenny
605-773-3821

Senator Ben Nesselhuf
605-773-3821

Senator Ed Olson (Chairman)
605-224-6877

Senator Jim Peterson
605-695-0032

Use our legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to get
contact information for your own senator.

BACKGROUND

H.B. 1266 funds the South Dakota Virtual School (SDVS) by allowing
homeschool students, with some exceptions, to enroll in any public
school in the state--including the virtual school--and the public
school gets full pro-rata funding. When a homeschool student
partially enrolls in a brick-and-mortar public school, this funding is
rational. It is not rational when a homeschool student enrolls in a
virtual school, like the South Dakota Virtual School, since virtual
education is much less expensive.

Section 1 of the bill allows homeschoolers to enroll in public school.
Section 2 provides pro-rata funding, whether the student attends a
brick-and-mortar school or receives inexpensive education at home.
Section 3 requires school districts--which would include the SDVS--to
allow homeschool students to transfer in. These 3 sections together
create statewide access to the SDVS and over-fund it dramatically.

Idaho has a virtual public school program similar to SDVS.

For both 2005 and 2006, fewer students in the Idaho virtual schools
scored "proficient" or higher on the Idaho Standards Achievement Test
than their fellow public school students--at every grade level!

The attempt to borrow the homeschool "model"--but put the government
at the center rather than parents--appears to have failed in Idaho.

Thank you for standing with us for liberty.

Sincerely Yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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