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2nd Grade Testing Abolished
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In 2003, HSLDA launched an effort to end the mandatory standardized testing for 2nd grade homeschool students. The South Dakota Department of Education was supportive. It was widely recognized that this expensive requirement served no useful purpose. The effort did not bear fruit, however, and the dream of abolishing 2nd grade testing went dormant.
But this year the department renewed the idea. After conferring with HSLDA and South Dakota Christian Home Educators (SDCHE), the department arranged for a bill to be filed, House Bill 1013, that would abolish the required 2nd grade testing of homeschoolers.
The bill passed every committee vote and floor vote unanimously. On February 29, Governor Dennis Daugaard signed it into law. South Dakota families no longer need to submit tests for 2nd grade homeschool students.
With the enactment of this bill, South Dakota joins the growing ranks of states that have eliminated or reduced mandatory testing of homeschooled children.
IMPORTANT UPDATE, July 1, 2016
One group of parents of second graders still needs to submit test results this summer. HB 1013 did not actually go into effect until July 1, 2016. This means that if you filed your 2015-16 excuse paperwork before July 1, 2015, your child's entire 12 month term of second grade occurred while testing was still mandatory for second graders. You should submit test results when you file your 2016-17 excuse paperwork.
For parents who filed their 2015-16 excuse paperwork after July 1, 2015, however, second grade testing was abolished before your child's 12-month term of second grade was over, so no test is due.