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South Dakota

February 6, 2002
South Dakota Rejects Interscholastic Sports for Home Schoolers

South Dakota's House of Representatives narrowly rejected House Bill 1072, a bill that would have given home schoolers a right to participate in interscholastic sports.

During House Education Committee discussion, some of the testimony sent cold chills down the spines of the home schoolers in the audience. Diana Miller, a registered lobbyist for the public school system, made a clear threat: if home schoolers were allowed to participate, she would make every effort to force them to meet all accreditation standards and testing requirements of the public schools. The South Dakota Education Association, the Superintendents' Association, and the Associated School Boards all rose to oppose home school participation. Despite this strong opposition from the educational establishment, the bill passed the Education Committee 11-4.

H.B. 1072 prompted intense debate in the full House. The bill was amended to give school districts 5% funding for each home schooled child that chose to participate, which eliminated one objection. Many representatives argued in favor of letting home schoolers participate-"They pay their taxes!" Others strenuously objected to such participation, declaring, "Home schoolers have made their choice!"

On a vote of 34 to 33, the South Dakota House rejected H.B. 1072.

The representatives voting in favor of the bill were:

Abdallah; Adelstein; Begalka; Broderick; Brown (Jarvis); Duenwald; Duniphan; Elliott; Garnos; Glenski; Heineman; Hennies (Don); Hennies (Thomas); Jaspers; Juhnke; Klaudt; Koistinen; Lange; Lintz; McCaulley; Monroe; Nachtigal; Napoli; Nesselhuf; Peterson (Bill); Rhoden; Smidt; Teupel; Van Etten; Van Gerpen; Van Norman; Wick; Speaker and Eccarius.

The representatives standing against the bill were:

Bartling; Bradford; Brown (Richard); Burg; Clark; Derby; Flowers; Frost; Fryslie; Hansen (Tom); Hanson (Gary); Hargens; Holbeck; Hundstad; Hunhoff; Jensen; Kloucek; Konold; Kooistra; McCoy; Michels; Murschel; Olson (Mel); Pederson (Gordon); Peterson (Jim); Pitts; Pummel; Richter; Sebert; Sigdestad; Slaughter; Solum; Sutton (Duane); and Valandra.

Home School Legal Defense Association encourages every South Dakota home schooler to contact your representative to discuss his or her vote on this bill. Whether you are for or against home school participation in public school sports, this vote provides a perfect opportunity to build bridges with the people who represent you!