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March10

Civics survey bill sent away by Reps

Civics education will remain status quo for the upcoming school year.

 

House members voted 30-33 against Senate Bill 52, which required schools to provide information for a survey of the adequacy of S.D. civics education, after House Education committee members voted 10-3 in favor of the previously hoghoused bill.

 

ASBSD opposed the bill, which required the following:

  • The amount of credit required in civics, United States government, United States history, and South Dakota history to meet local graduation requirements;
  • A description of the teaching of the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and whether the standards are incorporated into the general curriculum or utilized as stand-alone instruction;
  • A list of course offerings in civics, United States government, United States history, and South Dakota history and the corresponding grade levels at which the courses are taught;
  • A summary of the academic credentials of the educators teaching the courses;
  • A summary of local government requirements and whether the local requirements meet or exceed the state graduation requirements;
  • A summary of the application of graduation requirements for students who graduate mid-year;
  • Any other information related to instruction in civics, United States government, United States history, or South Dakota history that is requested by the secretary of education.

“It’s kind of a shotgun approach,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany told committee members during the bill’s hearing.

 

“It’s too broad.”

 

Sen. Jim Bolin, the bill’s prime sponsor, said it was aimed at getting “some real accurate data” related to civics education and asked the committee not to “let the perfect be the enemy of the good” in terms of passing a proposal.

 

Pogany noted much of the information asked for was readily available.

 

“We know in every school district what’s being offered in these course areas,” Pogany testified. “This doesn’t give you much direction.”

 

Rep. Taffy Howard concurred with the sentiment.

 

DOE should be able to get these questions  answered without us having to put this in a bill,” Rep. Howard told her fellow Representatives during the bill’s debate on the House floor.

 

For updates on legislative session, check the ASBSD BlogTwitter feedFacebook page and Bill Tracker.

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