Civics test bill sees its end in session

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Civics test bill sees its end in session

The civics test saw its end in South Dakota’s citizen legislature.


On a vote of 13-21, Senators defeated a once again amended House Bill 1066, which requires students to take a civics test before graduating from high school.


A bill that had been wrung through the amendment ringer multiple times ultimately failed to find favor in the Senate, after it was once again amended to exclude homeschool students from the testing requirement, but removed the must pass obligation in order for graduation for public and private school students.


Sen. Troy Heinert noted schools and teachers “can do this in your classroom” right now and putting it in statute in its amended form was unnecessary.


HB 1066 arrived on the Senate floor in the form it was originally introduced in at the start of legislative that required all South Dakota students to take, and pass, a civics test before graduating from high school, which ASBSD supported, before being amended by Senators, which ASBSD did not support.


Sen. Jim Bolin argued the bill was “a good idea” and was “important” to move forward, albeit acknowledging that he didn’t think its passage would “change civics education in South Dakota.”


Sen. Lee Schoenbeck argued the test was an unnecessary mandate on schools in its amended form.


“It’s boiled down to ridiculous now,” Sen. Lee Schoenbeck told his fellow Senators. “Tests that don’t matter, aren’t really tests. They’re just pieces of paper.”


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

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